Stocks Fight Retail Negativity


The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) dropped in the early going courtesy of some ugly retail and economic news, but the bulls fought to earn a partial recovery off the morning decline. ( AMZN ) fell 11.0% after its fourth-quarter earnings and revenues fell short of analysts' expectations. The e-commerce powerhouse was widely seen as a winner for the holiday season, so this news was a major disappointment.

Brick-and-mortar retail didn't fare much better as giant Wal-Mart ( WMT ) lowered its fourth-quarter guidance due to the impact from a reduction in food stamp issuance and the recent spate of winter storms. After an initial dip, Wal-Mart gradually rose throughout the day to finish more than $2 off the lows.

On the economic front, December 2013 Personal Income disappointed with a flat month-over-month vs. consensus expectations for a 0.2% gain. On a year-over-year basis, Personal Income fell 0.8%, the second worst showing since 2008, raising concerns about economic growth amidst a streak of data that can be described as mixed at best.

The S&P bottomed early at a low of 1772.26, but managed to finish 10 points higher at 1782.59, an overall decline of 0.65%.

Elsewhere in equities, social media stocks were very strong today, extending Thursday's rally, which was set off by Facebook's ( FB ) blockbuster earnings report. On the negative side, biotechs were weak, as was energy.

Google's ( GOOG ) earnings fell short of consensus, but traders were happy with its strong revenue growth, sending the stock up 4.0% on the day. Investors also continued cheering news that it was selling its Motorola mobile device unit to Lenovo (OTCMKTS:LNVGY).

In fixed income, US Treasury yields fell 2.5 bps to 2.668% on the day, but like stocks, yields creeped higher throughout the day on profit-taking following the bond market's impressive surge thus far in 2014.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

Earnings season will continue on Monday. Big names reporting include Sysco ( SYY ) before the open, and Yum Brands (YUM), Hartford Financial (HIG), and Anadarko Petroleum (APC).

In US economics, the January ISM Index and December 2013 construction spending numbers will be released at 10:00 a.m. EST. At 2:00 p.m., we will see January auto and truck sales data.

Twitter: @Minyanville

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: AMZN , FB , GOOG , SYY , WMT



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