Stocks Flat as Market Digests its Recent Gains!
Stocks on Wall Street were little changed at midday following a morning spent searching for direction. The averages have moved in a narrow range from slightly above to slightly below the flat line as the light economic calendar and the end to the third quarter earnings season has left a news void, setting the market adrift. However, the Dow and S&P continue to hover near record levels.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the employment costs index increased 0.4% during the third quarter, versus an expected increase of 0.5%. Also, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development cut its 2014 global GDP growth forecast to 3.6% from its prior 4% projection, citing worsening prospects for emerging markets and a "significant" threat to financial stability from the U.S. Fed unwinding its stimulus program.
COMPANY NEWS: Electronic retailer Best Buy (BBY) reported third quarter earnings that beat consensus expectations and revenue that was in-line with the consensus estimate. Its shares slid 8%, however, as the company said its competitors appear set to offer sales during Black Friday and the rest of the holidays that will cause Best Buy to have to follow suit, which it expects to have a negative impact on its gross profit margins this quarter. In contrast, another major retailer, Home Depot (HD), rose nearly 2% after its results also beat expectations and the company increased its full year profit forecast…
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was CommonWealth REIT (CHW), which rose about 6% after an arbitration panel ruled that the consent solicitation to remove the CWH Board of Trustees conducted by Corvex Management and Related Fund Management was not properly conducted. Corvex and Related then noted they intend to pursue a new solicitation based on the ruling’s direction. Also rising following their earnings reports were networking equipment supplier Brocade Communications (BRCD), which advanced 8%, and bargain apparel and home fashions retailer TJX (TJX), which gained 1%. Among the noteworthy losers was Campbell Soup (CPB), which dropped about 6% after the company’s results missed expectations and it cut its full year profit view. Also lower by 20% was LightInTheBox (LITB), as shares of the Chinese online retail company that made its U.S. trading debut in June slid after its revenue in the just-completed quarter and its forward-looking revenue guidance disappointed..