HomeBusinessHumana, Discover, Taiwan Semi, Spirit Airlines, Apple, Fastenal, and More Stock Market...

Humana, Discover, Taiwan Semi, Spirit Airlines, Apple, Fastenal, and More Stock Market Movers

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Stocks traded mostly higher Thursday, getting a boost from shares in the tech sector. Gains were capped, however, by a slide in shares of health insurers.

Humana

was down 11% after the health insurer reduced its fiscal 2023 adjusted earnings outlook to about $26.09 a share because of higher medical costs. It expects GAAP earnings for the year of $20 a share.

UnitedHealth

stock declined 4% and

CVS Health

slumped 4.1%.

Discover Financial Services

was falling 6.6% after reporting that its charge-off rate—the percentage of outstanding debt that credit card issuers write off as a loss—rose to 4.11% in the fourth quarter, up from 2.13% a year earlier. Discover also said its provision for credit losses at the end of the quarter was $1.9 billion, up $1 billion from a year earlier, driven by the increase in net charge-offs and a higher reserve build. Fourth-quarter earnings at Discover also missed analysts’ estimates. 

U.S.-listed shares of Taiwan-based chip maker

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing

were up 7.1% after the company said it expects revenue growth this year of at least 20%, more than double the rate of the wider chip market. The company reported fourth-quarter profit that fell 19% from a year earlier but still topped analysts’ expectations. Revenue in U.S. dollars fell 1.5% in the quarter to $19.62 billion but rose but 13.6% from the third quarter. Fellow chip stocks rose—

Nvidia

was up 2.1% and

Advanced Micro Devices

gained 2.8%.

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Apple

again has been banned from selling current versions of the

Apple

Watch with blood oxygen sensors in the U.S. in connection with a patent-infringement case filed against the tech giant by medical device maker

Masimo
.

The company said it would disable the blood oxygen feature, according to reports. Apple shares were rising 2.7% to $187.43, however, after analysts at BofA Securities upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral and raised the price target to $225 from $208.

Spirit Airlines

was down 14% to $5.27 after Citi analysts downgraded the stock to Sell. Spirit fell 47% on Tuesday and 22% on Wednesday after a federal judge blocked the budget carrier’s proposed merger with

JetBlue Airways
,

siding with the Justice Department on antitrust grounds.

Alcoa

reported a narrower-than-expected adjusted loss in the fourth quarter and a revenue decline of 2.5% to $2.6 billion, which just edged estimates. The aluminum-products maker said it expects lower production in 2024. The stock was up 4.1%.

Plug Power

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fell 12% to $2.41 after disclosing in a filing that it will be selling up to $1 billion of shares. The clean-energy company said it entered into an at-the-market issuance sales agreement with B. Riley Securities that would allow it to sell up to $1 billion in common stock.

Hertz

was up 6.6% to $8.91 after analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of the car-rental company to Overweight from Equal Weight. The price target was reduced to $15 from $16. The company last week said it would sell about 20,000 electric vehicles in the U.S.

Fastenal

was up 7.1% after fourth-quarter earnings at the distributor of industrial and construction supplies topped analysts’ estimates.

Birkenstock

fell 7.3% after the German sandal-maker said it expected a “modest headwind” to fiscal 2024 margins in adjusted Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, “due to planned ramp-up costs and an initial under-absorption” in Pasewalk, Germany, where a new production plant will be located.

Boeing

rose 2.4%. India’s newest airline, Akasa Air, has ordered 150

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Boeing

737 MAX planes. Akasa will be purchasing 737-10 airplanes and 737-8-200 jets. The order doesn’t include the 737 MAX 9, which has been grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration following an incident on an Alaska Airlines flight earlier this month.

Write to Joe Woelfel at joseph.woelfel@barrons.com 



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