by Marc Bastow | August 14, 2012 4:58 pm
Markets broke any hopes of a broad rally as late-day trading reined in early gains, despite encouraging news from Europe and U.S. economic indicators.
In Europe, France and Germany released second-quarter gross domestic product figures that beat analysts’ expectations. However, according to estimates from Eurostat, eurozone GDP overall was down 0.2% between April and June.
In the U.S., the Census Bureau reported that retail sales climbed for the first time in four months, up 0.8% in July, better than the 0.2% increase anticipated by economists. In addition, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, producer prices increased 0.3% just over expectations of a o.2% rise.
Many stocks that started up on the news finished lower, while the Dow Jones Industrials managed to hang on to gains. For the day, the Dow picked up a fraction to finish up at 13,172, while the S&P fell even more fractionally at 1,403, and the Nasdaq lost 0.18% to end at 3,017.
On the corporate news watch, in the what-else-can-go-wrong-category, shares of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) touched a 52-week low, after the company announced results last night that missed revenue estimates and continuing to confound analysts trying to figure out how to resolve Groupon’s accounting issues. Shares managed to avoid the low but were still down 26% on the day. Oh, and in the same category, with two days to go before the IPO lockup period expires, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares dipped 5.65% to finish at just over $20 per share.
Earnings once again took a big role, as retailer Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) rocketed ahead nearly 17% after posting revenues and earnings ahead of estimates and increasing guidance for the remainder of the year.
Fragrance and hair-care prodcts maker Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) rose just south of 10% on the day after posting earnings that beat Street estimates by 1 cent per share and despite a mild warning on future growth and profit.
Home Depot (NYTSE:HD) crushed earnings during the quarter, with EPS rising 12% over last year despite a drop in revenues. Same-store sales improved, and the home improvement retailer provided upbeat guidance for the remainder of the year. Shares rose over 3% on the day to hit a 52-week high.
Not so lucky was Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS), which saw a nearly 4% drop in share price after second-quarter earnings were down from last year despite beating Street estimates by 1 cent per share. The company increased its outlook for the reminder of the year, but not by enough to make analysts happy.
Earnings releases continue on Wednesday, with notables including InvestorPlace Dependable Dividend Target (NYSE:TGT), Deere (NYSE:DE) and Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO).
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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