Nasdaq Up 75; Acuity Beats EPS with $3.38 Amid Market Optimism

Nasdaq rises 75 points amid mixed economic signals; Acuity Brands beats EPS estimates despite sales dip.

By Bill Bullington

4/3, 14:39 EDT
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Acuity Brands, Inc.

Key Takeaway

  • Nasdaq rose 75 points, with S&P 500 and Dow also seeing gains amid upbeat market sentiment.
  • Acuity Brands reported a quarterly net sales decline of 4.0% to $905.9 million but beat EPS estimates with $3.38.
  • Oil and gold prices increased, trading up 0.5% at $85.61 and up 1.4% at $2,313.90 respectively, indicating positive commodity market movements.

Market Trends: Stocks Climb Higher

U.S. stocks experienced a positive shift towards the end of trading on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 marking a gain of approximately 0.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a modest increase of 0.08%, reaching 39,200.08, while the NASDAQ Composite Index rose by 0.46% to 16,315.68. This upward movement in the stock market reflects a broader optimism among investors, buoyed by specific sector performances and corporate earnings reports.

Sector Highlights: Industrials Lead, Consumer Staples Lag

The industrials sector emerged as a standout performer, jumping by 0.8%, signaling robustness in this segment of the economy. Conversely, consumer staples shares experienced a downturn, falling by 0.9%. This divergence in sector performance underscores the varying impacts of current economic conditions on different areas of the market, with industrials benefiting from certain tailwinds while consumer staples face headwinds.

Acuity Brands: A Mixed Financial Picture

Acuity Brands, Inc. reported its quarterly financial results, revealing a mixed picture. The company's net sales saw a year-over-year decline of 4.0% to $905.9 million, slightly missing market expectations. However, it managed to beat earnings per share (EPS) estimates with an adjusted EPS of $3.38, surpassing the consensus of $3.25. This performance highlights the challenges and opportunities facing the company in the current economic landscape, with sales under pressure but profitability exceeding expectations.

Global and Economic Indicators

On the global front, European shares closed higher, with the eurozone's STOXX 600 up by 0.29% and other major indexes also posting gains. This positive sentiment was mirrored in the eurozone's inflation rate easing to 2.4% year-over-year in March, below market expectations. However, Asian markets closed lower, indicating regional disparities in market performance.

Economic data from the U.S. showed a mixed bag, with private businesses adding more workers than expected in March, but the ISM services PMI declining to 51.4, indicating a slowdown in service sector growth. Additionally, U.S. crude oil inventories increased unexpectedly, contrasting with market estimates of a decline.