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Mid-Day Market Update: US Stocks Mostly Flat; Office Depot Shares Decline On Q4 Results

By: Benzinga
Posted: 2/25/2014 1:07:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: EXK;ITMN;VVUS;AYR;HD

Midway through trading Tuesday, the Dow traded up 0.04 percent to 16,214.05 while the NASDAQ declined 0.03 percent to 4,291.67. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.01 percent to 1,847.71.

Leading and Lagging Sectors In trading on Tuesday, cyclical consumer goods & services shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 0.50 percent. Among leading sector stocks, gains came from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO ), Haverty Furniture Companies (NYSE: HVT ), Polypore International (NYSE: PPO ) and Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA ).

Basic materials sector was the leading decliner in the US market today. Basic materials shares declined 0.58 percent in today's trading. Top decliners in the sector included Mechel OAO (NYSE: MTL ), off 4.4 percent, and Endeavour Silver (NYSE: EXK ), down 5 percent.

Top Headline Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and raised its quarterly dividend by 21%. Home Depot's quarterly earnings per share surged to $0.73 versus $0.68 in the year-earlier period. However, its net profit fell to $1.01 billion versus $1.02 billion. Its sales declined 3% to $17.7 billion. However, analysts were estimating earnings of $0.71 per share on sales of $17.9 billion. Its same-store sales also gained 4.4% in the quarter. Home Depot lifted its quarterly dividend by 21% to $0.47 per share.

Equities Trading UP InterMune (NASDAQ: ITMN ) shot up 160.17 percent to $36.32 after the company announced Phase 3 ASCEND trial results of pirfenidone in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Shares of zulily (NASDAQ: ZU ) got a boost, shooting up 39.36 percent to $59.70 after the company reported upbeat Q4 results.

Aircastle (NYSE: AYR ) was also up, gaining 5.92 percent to $20.21 after the company reported better-than-expected Q4 results and announced a $900 million agreement for purchase and leaseback of Boeing 777-300ERs with LATAM Airlines Group.

Equities Trading DOWN Shares of RealPage (NASDAQ: RP ) were down 22.44 percent to $16.07 on Q4 results. Analysts at RBC Capital downgraded the stock from Outperform to Sector Perform and lowered the price target from $28 to $22.

Office Depot (NYSE: ODP ) shares tumbled 11.50 percent to $4.74 after the company reported a fourth-quarter loss.

VIVUS (NASDAQ: VVUS ) was down, falling 12.15 percent to $5.93 after the company reported Q4 results. JP Morgan downgraded the stock from Overweight to Neutral and cut the price target from $15.00 to $8.00.

Commodities In commodity news, oil traded down 1.45 percent to $101.33, while gold traded up 0.28 percent to $1,341.80.

Silver traded down 0.58 percent Tuesday to $21.96, while copper fell 0.46 percent to $3.23.

Eurozone European shares were mostly lower today.

The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.48 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index fell 0.02 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX slipped 0.10 percent and the French CAC 40 dropped 0.10 percent while U.K. shares declined 0.35 percent.

Economics The ICSC-Goldman same-store sales index declined 0.6% in the week ended Saturday versus the prior week.

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index dropped 1.3% in the first three weeks of February versus January.

The seasonally adjusted S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose 0.76% in December, down from 0.9% in November.

Home prices also surged 13.4% y/y in December.

US home prices climbed 0.8% in December, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Home prices also increased 7.7% y/y in the month.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index fell to 78.10 in February, versus a prior reading of 80.70. However, economists were expecting a reading of 80.00.

The Richmond Fed manufacturing index declined to -6.00 in February, versus a prior reading of 12.00. However, economists were projecting a reading of 5.00.

(c) 2014 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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