RTTNews - Stocks have seen some volatility over the course of morning trading on Monday, as traders react to the latest batch of earnings news as well as some key data on new home sales. The major averages have recently shown a notable move to the downside, with the Nasdaq leading the way lower amid profit taking in the tech sector.
With new home prices moving back to the downside, the Commerce Department released a report showing that new home sales in the month of June increased by much more than economists had been anticipating.
The report showed that new home sales jumped 11 percent to an annual rate of 384,000 in June from the revised May rate of 346,000. Economists had expected sales to rise to 352,000 from the 342,000 originally reported for the previous month.
The stronger than expected sales growth came amid a pullback in prices, with the median sales price of new houses sold in June falling 5.8 percent to $206,200 from $219,000 in the previous month. The median sales price had increased for two consecutive months.
In earnings news, RadioShack (RSH) reported second quarter net income of $0.39 per share, compared with net income of $0.32 per share in the same last year. The company's sales fell 2.9 percent to $965.7 million from $994.9 million in the same period last year. Wall Street analysts expected the firm to report earnings of $0.28 per share, on revenues of $977.86 million.
Verizon Communications (VZ) announced adjusted second quarter net income of $0.63 per share, compared with $0.67 per share a year earlier. Analysts anticipated the company to report earnings of $0.63 per share.
Honeywell (HON) revealed second-quarter net income of $0.60 per share, compared to $0.96 per share in the same quarter of last year. The results came in line with analyst forecasts of $0.60 per share for the quarter.
While Tellabs (TLAB) and Corning (GLW) beat analysts' estimates, Aetna (AET) fell well short of expectations. After the closing bell today, traders will look to results from Amgen (AMGN) and Manitowoc (MTW).
The major averages have seen some further downside in recent trading, falling to new lows for the session. The Dow is currently down 47.76 at 9,045.48, the Nasdaq is down 17.55 at 1,948.41 and the S&P 500 is down 6.24 at 973.02.
Despite the pullback in the broader markets, notable strength is visible among housing stocks on the heels of the day's home sales data. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index is up by 1.3 percent, extending its gains for a fourth straight session to reach its best intraday level in over two months.
Brokerage and banking stocks are also moving higher, with the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index and the Kbw Bank Index rising by 1 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. The brokerage index has risen to its best level in over eight months, while the banking index remains in a recent range.
Meanwhile, significant weakness is visible among airline and railroad stocks. The NYSE Arca Airline Index and the Dow Jones Railroads Index are down by 2.3 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, backing off of their best closing levels in roughly ten months.
Networking, semiconductor and software stocks are also posting notable losses, reflecting the weakness in the tech sector. Retail stocks have also come under pressure, dragging the S&P Retail Index down 1.9 percent.
Stocks Driven By Analyst Comments
Shares of Con-Way (CNW) are gaining in mid-morning trading after the firm was upgraded at Credit Suisse from Underperform to Neutral, with the target price boosted to $47 from $23. The broker cited the firm's second quarter earnings, which beat estimates. The stock is up by 3.6 percent, reaching its best intraday level in over nine months.
BE Aerospace (BEAV) is also on the rise following an upgrade by FBR Capital from Market Perform to Outperform. The ratings change came as the broker forecast a recovery in the firm's spare parts business. The stock is currently up by 1.8 percent after reaching its highest intraday price in roughly six weeks earlier in the session.
On the other hand, Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) is moving to the downside after the stock was downgraded from Outperform to Perform by Oppenheimer based on recent valuation. The stock is down by 2.5 percent, pulling back further off the nearly ten-month closing high set last week.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region finished on the upside on Monday. While Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index posted a 1.5 percent gain, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose by 1.4 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned to the downside, with the German DAX Index down 0.1 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both sliding by 0.4 percent.
In the bond markets, treasuries have moved well off of their worst levels of the day but remain stuck in negative territory. Subsequently the yield on the benchmark ten-year note is trading at 3.709 percent, posting gain of 3.9 basis points on the day.
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