Stocks End Little Changed; Ulta, Veeva Jump In After Hours – Investor’s Business Daily

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Stocks ended little changed Thursday ahead of revised first-quarter GDP figures, due Friday before the opening bell.

The Nasdaq edged up 0.1%, while the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.1%, and the S&P 500 ended fractionally lower. Volume fell on both major exchanges in the stock market today, according to preliminary data.

In after-hours trading, Ulta Beauty (ULTA) jumped 7% after the big-box cosmetics retailer reported that fiscal Q1 profit rose 39% to $1.45 a share on a 24% increase in sales to $1.07 billion. Both figures easily topped Wall Street estimates.

Ulta, which rose 1% to a new high during the regular session, has climbed out of buy range following a March breakout past a 188.58 buy point.

Veeva Systems (VEEV), a developer of cloud-based software for life-sciences firms, was up 9% in post-session trading after a strong fiscal Q1 earnings report. The stock ended the regular session near a 52-week high and slightly extended from a 28.05 handle entry.

Discount retailers led the gains in the stock market today.

Dollar General (DG) jumped 5%, clearing an 87.52 buy point of a flat base in heavy volume after reporting that profit for the latest quarter rose 23% to $1.08 a share, beating Wall Street estimates. Sales climbed 7% to $5.3 billion.

Dollar Tree (DLTR) soared more than 13% in massive turnover, clearing an 83.82 flat-base buy point, also on strong earnings.

In economic news, durable goods orders rose more than expected in April, and the figure for March was revised higher. Meanwhile, first-time claims for jobless benefits fell more than expected. Friday’s revised GDP report is expected to be adjusted upward to a still-sluggish 0.9% increase.

Homebuilders rose after pending home sales for April jumped 5.1%, well above the expected 0.8% gain, to the highest level in 10 years. Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV) and LGI Homes (LGIH) each rose 2%.

On the downside, Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) plunged 16% in huge volume after the struggling apparel retailer posted a bigger-than-expected loss of 59 cents a share in the latest quarter. Revenue fell 3% to $685.5 million.