Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are more or less unmoved this morning after the prior session’s surge as housing prices fell, European stocks dropped and investors sort through a mixed bag of high-profile earnings.
- U.S. single-family home prices fell for a fifth straight month in November and a double-dip in home prices could be confirmed by spring, a closely watched survey said on Tuesday. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas declined 0.5% in November from October, though it was not as sharp as the 0.8% fall expected by economists. Prices have fallen 1.6% in the past year, sharper than the 1.4% predicted by economists polled by Reuters. The Direxion Daily Real Estate Bear 3X ETF (NYSEArca: DRV) is up 1% today.
- Most European stocks dropped Tuesday after data showing a surprise decline in the British economy soured sentiment. The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.5% following the release of U.K. gross domestic product data. The figures showed GDP contracted 0.5% in the fourth quarter compared to the previous quarter. Economists had been expecting a 0.4% rise. The SPDR DJ EURO STOXX 50 (NYSEArca: FEZ) is down nearly 1% this morning.
- 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter income slipped almost 1% as sales related to the swine-flu virus declined and as growth in optical films for LCD TVs moderated. Part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, shares of 3M is down almost 2.5% today. In the past year, the stock has gained about 11%. Industrial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLI) is down just slightly this morning; MMM is 4.8%.
- Health-care giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) reported fourth-quarter revenue that fell short of estimates and offered a disappointing earnings forecast estimate for 2011. Johnson & Johnson’s fourth-quarter profit fell 12% as the company recorded a $922 million charge related to the DePuy ASR hip recall, and sales slid more than analysts expected. The health-care products company also issued a 2011 earnings below what was projected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. J&J shares are down approx 1.5% so far today. Vanguard Health Care (NYSEArca: VHT) is up slightly this morning; JNJ is 10.5% of the fund.
- Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) posted sharply higher fourth-quarter profit Tuesday, helped by strong wireless sales and a one-time pension-related gain. Shares of Verizon are up more than 2% in early trading on Tuesday, though the results still fell slightly short of Wall Street’s projections. The Vanguard Telecom Services (NYSEArca: VOX) is up 0.5% in early trading.
Gregory A. Clay contributed to this article.
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.