On the earnings front:

  • Sears Holding Corp. (SHLD), missed expectations and reported a loss of $0.17/share, excluding one-time costs, analysts expected a profit of $0.32/share.  Revenues at the company declined 10% on a stronger dollar and same-store declines.
  • H J Heinz Co., the maker of ketchup and Ore-Ida French fries, reported earnings of $0.67/share topping Wall Street’s expectations of $0.62/share, despite witnessing a decline in revenues of 4% and a strong dollar.
  • In metals and mining, Rio Tinto Group (RTP) announced a decline in profits of 65% as the prices of copper, iron ore and aluminum declined.  The world’s third-largest mining company is faced with mounting debt and is at a standstill in contract negotiations with some Chinese steelmakers.  SPDR S&P Metals & Mining (XME) is up 1.6% in intraday trading.

In the real estate world, mortgage delinquencies rose to a record seasonally adjusted 9.2% of all mortgages. Additionally, the inventory of homes in foreclosure increased to 4.3% and loans overdue by at least 90 days rose to 8%, the highest on record.  This worrisome data didn’t have much effect on iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index (IYR), which is up 2.4% in intraday trading.

Overall all three U.S. indexes are moderately higher with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.4% and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each gaining 0.75%.

For more stories on metals and mining, visit our metals and mining category.