U.S. stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are trading down this morning on news of lower oil and metal prices dragging down commodity producers, a higher-than-expected contraction of the U.K. economy and as investors cash in on some of this month’s biggest gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged almost 21% over the last 13 trading sessions, and it was just a matter of time before the markets retreated. Additionally, a dip in personal disposable income and a slowdown in personal spending didn’t help the rally extend its run.
It’s not all bad news on Wall Street. KB Homes (KBH) posted a loss that was lower than most analysts expected. The homebuilder was expected to post a loss around 0.95 cents per share and ended up showing a loss of 0.75 per share, states Daniel Taub of Bloomberg. This resulted in a nice jump in the company’s stock by 7.3% during early morning trading. Unfortunately, this good news in combination with the unexpected increase in new home sales couldn’t extend a rally in the homebuilder sector. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB), was down about 1% in intraday trading; KB is 3.8%.
Another outperformer was apparel giant, Finish Line (FINL). Although the company failed to hit its revenue forecasts, its profit numbers outperformed analysts’ expectations by 2 cents per share, as a result of lighter inventories and cost-cutting measures, states Reuters. This good news enabled the stock to jump about 11% in intraday trading.
Although these two companies performed relatively well, it is still pretty tough out there. The tough times can be seen through a deteriorating job market and falling incomes, which, in turn, means weaker consumer spending. Granted, the month of January boasted an increase in purchases of 1%, however, most experts account for this increase as a result of increased pricing, leaving so-called real spending with a decline, states Shobhana Chandra of Bloomberg.
The increased pricing has enabled the retail industry to put a little shine in its cloudiness of the past year. Just take a look at the SPDR Retail ETF (XRT), which is up 17% year to date.
We are still in a recession, but the pace of contraction has eased since the end of last year and some good news has prevailed.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.