Stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) dipped into negative territory this morning as a strengthening dollar and downbeat reports about mortgage delinquencies and wholesale inflation dampened any buying mood.
Some retailers reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings, including Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Saks (NYSE: SKS) and Target (NYSE: TGT). But the retailers also cautioned that they were nervous about the holiday shopping season, say Stephen Bernard and Tim Paradis for the Associated Press. The earnings follow yesterday’s report that showed October retail sales rose 1.4%. (Retail sales rise). Retail HOLDRs (NYSEArca: RTH) is down about 1.3% this morning; Target is 8.5% and Home Depot is 12%. (For more stories about retail ETFs, visit our category page).
Wholesale inflation fell unexpectedly last month while industrial output rose less than forecast. This gives the Federal Reserve more impetus to keep interest rates at record lows, report Luca Di Leo and Jeff Bater for The Wall Street Journal. The producer price index rose by 0.3%, but fell 0.6% excluding food and energy prices.
The report eases concerns that inflation will be a near-term threat to the economic recovery.
Mortgage delinquencies shot to another record in the third quarter. As of Sept. 30, 6.25% of all U.S. mortgage loans were 60 days or more past due. Last year at this time, 3.96% of all homes were delinquent, reports Eileen AJ Connelly for the Associated Press. An expert said that for the situation to right itself, home values and unemployment need to recover. (For more stories about real estate, visit our category page).
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.