Stocks pull back on disappointing earnings & another housing miss

Wednesday, April 23, 2013 -

US stocks declined, halting the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s six-day winning streak, after disappointing earnings reports from AT&T and Amgen and an unexpected drop in home sales.

The stock market ran out of steam today after a six-day rally as the broad market indexes approached the early April highs, but it was the OTC indexes which took it on the chin today ahead of some key earnings due this week and also following a census bureau report that showed new homes sales plunged 14.5%.

All indexes closed in the red today, though selling pressure was relatively subdued for the broader market – limiting the downside for larger cap stocks – while the Nasdaq underperformed by a wide margin.

While the Nasdaq slid 34 points (-0.8%) to 4,127, the Dow edged down 13 points (-0.1%) to 16,503 and the S&P 500 dipped 4 points (-0.2%) to 1,875. The NYSE finished at -0.1% and the small cap Russell 2000 at -0.7%. Once again, the high risk tech and small cap holdings lead on the way down.

The weakness on Wall Street was partly due to profit taking and negative reaction to the latest batch of earnings news and another disappointing home sales report.

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Rising Energy Prices
Linked with Weak Housing

I think that traders were more cautious of Apple’s and several other big tech company earnings announcements which definitely had the OTC turning lower today, but I think the real concern is another bad housing report which has got to be a real concern about the health of this so-called recovery. Look at what the housing sales report is by region:

Sales by Region (Month-Over-Month, Year-Over-Year)

Northeast +12.5% MOM, -22.9% YOY
Midwest    -21.5% MOM, -17.7% YOY
South        -14.4% MOM, -03.8% YOY
West         -17.7% MOM, -27.9% YOY
Total         -14.5% MOM, -13.3% YOY

People can believe it’s the weather if they want to but what about the Northeast where housing prices actually improved? What about the West Coast and in the south such as Florida?

Let’s not lose sight of what caused the housing market to collapse the last . . .

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