Apparel retailer Gap forecast a drop in profit for its year ending January 2016; U.S. stocks closed mostly lower, with the Nasdaq higher on tech deals. Bobbi Rebell reports.
After the closing bell: Gap lowering its full year profit forecast blaming the strong dollar and delays in getting its merchandise to stores because of labor issues at west coast ports. JC Penney reporting sales rose on higher demand for household goods, apparel and jewelry, but still reporting a loss in the fourth quarter. A drop in oil prices pulled down energy shares, and those stocks dragged down the Dow and S&P 500. But the Nasdaq bucked the trend. It got a lift from chipmaker Avago Technologies, which is buying networking firm Emulex. Regulators approved "net neutrality" rules that would restrict internet service providers from giving the fastest download speeds to companies that offer to pay more. Shares of broadband providers Comcast and Time Warner Cable fell, while content companies like Netflix and Google rose. S&P Capital IQ media analyst Tuna Amobi says don't expect the Internet providers to give up the fight. SOUNDBITE: TUNA AMOBI, MEDIA ANALYST, S&P CAPITAL IQ (ENGLISH) SAYING: "You can expect there will be a lot of challenges. There is probably going to be protracted litigation, so we haven't heard the last word yet." Barnes & Noble is spinning off its college books unit that makes up just under half of its revenue. Investors gave that move the thumbs up. Taser's shares got zapped. It was one of the worst performers on the Russell 2000 index. The stun gun maker's quarterly profit missed forecasts. Investors faced a flood of data. Weekly jobless claims rose. Consumer prices fell on an annual basis for the first time since 2009. But a gauge of business investment plans rebounded, hinting that any move toward deflation would be brief. In Europe, the major country indexes were higher with Germany's DAX hitting an all-time high.