Consumer sentiment as measured by the University of Michigan rose to a final 59.1 reading for December, improving on a 56.8 score last month and beating market expectations for a 59.1 reading. Inflation expectations also declined in the latest survey.
In company news, National Beverage (FIZZ) rose 2.5% after the soft-drink company exceeded Wall Street expectations with its fiscal Q2 financial results. It earned $0.39 per share during the three months ended Oct. 29 on $299.6 million in revenue compared with the two-analyst consensus looking for a $0.34 per share profit on $293.8 million.
RH (RH) was climbing 3.2% after late Thursday reporting declines in its fiscal Q3 earnings and revenue compared with year-ago levels. RH also said Chairman and Chief Executive Gary Friedman is planning to sell about 700,000 common shares related to 1 million options that are set to expire.
Marin Software (MRIN) jumped out to a 14% gain after the software firm said it has joined the Walmart (WMT) Platform Partner program, allowing brands using the MarinOne digital marketing platform to launch their campaigns through Walmart Connect. Walmart shares were trading 1.7% lower this afternoon.
Among decliners, Lululemon Athletica (LULU) slumped 13% following its Q3 results. Investors had been expecting "inventory would have started coming down this quarter," according to Wedbush analyst Tom Nikic, also calling attention to a 130-basis-point drop in the company's gross margin during Q3 to 55.9%, missing the Street view looking for 56.7%.