Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

US stocks see-saw as investors weigh latest corporate earnings; Home Depot, Macy's rise

FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, file photo, trader Gregory Rowe, center, works at the post of specialist Joseph Mastrolia, left, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stocks were mostly lower Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, amid jitters about China's housing market and weakness in the country's currency. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Enlarge Image

FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, file photo, trader Gregory Rowe, center, works at the post of specialist Joseph Mastrolia, left, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stocks were mostly lower Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, amid jitters about China's housing market and weakness in the country's currency. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - U.S. stocks moved between gains and losses Tuesday as investors weighed strong results from Home Depot and Macy's against an unexpectedly steep decline in consumer confidence this month. The worst declines in confidence came in areas that were most affected by the winter storms and severely cold weather of the last few weeks.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average was down 19 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 16,188 as of 3 p.m. (2000 GMT). The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell a point to 1,846 and the Nasdaq composite lost five points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,288.

SNOWED IN: Macy's rose $3.16, or 6 per cent, to $56.23 while Home Depot was up $2.60, or 3 per cent, to $80.49. While both companies reported better-than-expected results, both were also affected by the recent winter storms. Macy's said that at one time during January, 30 per cent of its stores were shut down because of weather.

"We don't like to use weather as an excuse but we think we probably lost $100 million in the month of January," Home Depot's chief financial officer, Carol Tome, said in a conference call with investors. "Atlanta was frozen, for example. It was tough here."

CONFIDENCE IS ALSO HIT: The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence fell to 78.1 in February from 80.7 the month before. That was below the 80.1 level economists polled by FactSet were expecting. The report is a closely watched indicator of how likely consumers are to spend money and keep the economy moving forward.

The report was the latest indication that the last several weeks of cold weather has slowed down the economy. The regions that had the biggest declines in confidence in February were in the middle of the storm earlier in this month that brought snow from Atlanta to Boston.

"Perhaps (confidence) would have done slightly better had the weather been less dismal," economists at the investment bank RBS wrote in a note to investors.

SICKLY TENET: Hospital management company Tenet Healthcare fell $4.32, or 9 per cent, to $43.99 after the company reported a loss in the fourth quarter. Tenet took on more debt because of an acquisition and a stock repurchase program.

Defence WOES: Shares of several defence contractors fell following Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel's announcement Monday that the size of the nation's armed forces would be reduced to below World War II levels. Northrup Grumman fell 2 per cent, while Raytheon and Lockheed Martin fell 1.5 per cent.

STILL NEAR A RECORD: The S&P 500 barely missed hitting another record high on Monday. It closed at 1,847.61, less than a point from its record close of 1,848.38 set on Jan. 15. Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 are positive for 2014, while the Dow is still down 2 per cent.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Submit a Random Act of Kindness
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media