Economic news hitting the Street is rather downbeat this morning. First, the Case-Shiller home price index for 20 U.S. cities declined 0.4% in July, marking the thirteenth consecutive month of falling prices and a loss of 3.9% for the past year. Sixteen of the 20 major cities suffered slipping prices, though Seattle posted a healthy 6.9% increase. The 10-city index also marked a decline, falling 0.6% in July and 4.5% during the past year to turn in its worst showing since July 1991.

Sales warnings from Target (TGT) and Lowe's (LOW) greeted investors this morning. Elsewhere in retail, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and UBS Securities reported a rise of 2.4% in chain-store sales for the week ended September 22. The ICSC noted uneven performance among retailers for the week, which marks a 1% week-over-week sales decline. As a result of soft chain-store results, the ICSC has pared its expectations for September chain-store sales to a year-over-year increase of 2.0% to 2.5%, down from 2.5%.