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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (February 25, 2014)

February 25, 2014, Tuesday, 17:19 GMT | 13:19 EST | 22:49 IST | 01:19 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- The S&P500 did not manage to close at all-time highs yesterday and US equity markets swooned from the open this morning ahead of the consumer confidence and Richmond Fed manufacturing survey misses, however all three leading US indices have bounced back solidly and moved into positive territory. As of writing the DJIA is up 0.20%, the S&P500 is up 0.11% and the Nasdaq is up 0.32%.

- Natural gas prices are tumbling further this morning as the front-month contract starts rolling over. The April contract opened at $5.46 and has tumbled to $4.96, down 9% or so, but the March contract is up slightly, to $4.70. After opening at $102.80, front month crude has dropped to $101.50.

- The lagging data in the December S&P/CaseShiller price index indicated home prices fell for a second month in the final month of 2013, although the data also showed prices were up slightly in the final quarter of 2013, showing the year was the strongest for the index since 2005. Robert Shiller said that home prices will continue to go up in the first part of 2014, but could see some weakening later in the year.

- Toll Brothers' headline numbers in its first quarter were not terrible, with earnings above expectations and revenue up very strongly on a y/y basis. However the firm's metrics reflected the housing market slowdown seen in data over recent months: orders fell 6%, the first decline in nearly three years. Additionally, Toll trimmed its FY14 homes outlook slightly and said severe winter weather was holding back sales. Shares were down more than 2% at one point but have bounced back with broader equity markets.

- Home Depot more or less met expectations in its fourth quarter and hiked its dividend by 20%. The firm's FY14 guidance was a little shy of expectations. Given the tough y/y comps from Sandy, slowing housing markets plus the weather, Home Depot held up well in the quarter, with comps up 4.4%. Shares of both HD and rival LOW (reports tomorrow) are up more than 2% a piece.

- Shares of Office Depot are down nearly 12% this morning after the firm widely missed revenue expectations in its fourth quarter report. In addition, the company warned that FY14 revenue would decline on a y/y basis. Comps were also weak. Executives counseled patience as the company works through the process of completing the merger with Office Max.

- Macys had a mixed performance in its fourth quarter, as earnings came in above par while revenue missed by a hair. Revenue was down slightly y/y, while net income grew. The firm cited the terrible winter weather for slowing momentum in the quarter, but said they were looking forward to a positive spring sales season. Macys shares are up more than 3%.

***Looking Ahead***
- 14:00ET US Fed Discount Rate Minutes
- 15:45ET New York Fed's William Dudley speaks at the 10th Asia-Pacific High Level Meeting on Bank Supervision in Aukland, New Zealand
- 16:30ET API Crude Oil/Gasoline/Distillate Inventories

***Economic Data***
- (UK) UK Feb CBI Reported Sales: 37 v 15e
- (BR) Brazil Feb FGV Construction Costs: 0.4% v 0.7% prior-
- (US) ICSC/UBSW Chain Store Sales w/e Feb 22nd: w/w -0.6%; y/y: +1.4%
- (US) Redbook Retail Sales w/e Feb 22nd: +2.9% y/y, Feb MTD: -1.3% m/m; Feb MTD y/y: +3.0%
- (US) US Dec S&P/CaseShiller 20 CityM/M: 0.76% v 0.60%E; Y/Y: 13.42% v 13.40%e; Home Price Index: 165.69 v 165.50e
- (US) Feb Consumer Confidence Index m/m: 78.1 v 80.0e
- (US) Feb Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index: -6 v 5e
- (MX) Mexico Dec Retail Sales Y/Y: 2.2% v 0.4%e
- (MX) Mexico Q4 Current Account Balance -$4.6B v -$4.6Be