U.S. stocks mixed as retailers fall
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-- Global markets in Europe and Asia extend gains
-- Havens including gold continue to fall
Retailers tumbled after another round of earnings disappointed investors and shares of financial companies gained, leaving major U.S. stock indexes little changed Tuesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2 points, or less than 0.1%, to 21995. The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite declined around 0.1%.
Consumer-discretionary shares in the S&P 500 slid after several large retailers reported quarterly results Tuesday morning.
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Shares of Dick's Sporting Goods fell more than 19% after same-store sales fell short of expectations in the latest quarter and the company lowered its forecast for annual earnings. Advance Auto Parts shed 24% after lowering its 2017 guidance and missing analysts' estimates on profits. Coach, whose profits beat expectations but sales fell short, was down around 14%.
Even companies that exceeded expectations couldn't satisfy investors. Home Depot was down 2.7% after it said it grew same-store sales and raised its outlook for the second time this year.
Investors didn't shun all of the retail sector. TJX Companies, the parent of the T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods off-price chains, was up nearly 2% after reporting strong quarterly sales Tuesday morning.
Shares of brick-and-mortar retailers have taken a beating this year as increased competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon.com have cut into profits.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that sales at retailers and restaurants rose 0.6% from a month earlier, the biggest increase since December, attributing much of the increase to internet sales.
"The source of the retail sales is still the non big-box stores," said Tom Stringfellow, chief investment officer of Frost Investments. "It's the internet, not the Home Depots or the Macys. It's Amazon Prime."
Gains in financial companies helped offset retail's weak showing to keep markets roughly flat during the morning.
Synchrony Financial rose more than 4%, making it one of the S&P 500's biggest gainers, on news that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway had opened a large investment in the biggest U.S. store credit-card issuer. The financials sector of the S&P 500 rose 0.4%.
Stock markets around the world continued to stabilize Tuesday, after swinging last week following some weak earnings and geopolitical tensions.
Markets will continue to shrug off the likes of North Korea-U.S. tensions, so long as interest rates stay low, the labor market stays strong and the global economy stays healthy, said Dan Miller, director of equities at GW&K Investment Management.
"The stock market should continue on its merry way. Things like North Korea or events in Virginia over the weekend, the market tends to look past those events," he said.
The Federal Reserve is set to release minutes from its latest meeting on Wednesday, giving investors clues on the central bank's plans for interest rates and balance-sheet unwinding.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said late Monday he expected another rate increase in 2017.
The monthly retail sales data, Fed expectations and a de-escalation of North Korea threats contributed to a pullback from havens Tuesday, some investors and analysts said.
U.S. government bond prices fell, sending the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note to 2.250%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.217% Monday.
The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of 16 others, was up 0.5%. The U.S. dollar rose 0.7% against Japan's yen.
Gold, which investors consider a relatively safe store of value in uncertain times, fell 0.9%.
In Europe, economic data showed growth in Germany remained solid, despite a mild slowdown in the second quarter. The Stoxx Europe 600 was recently up roughly 0.1%.
South Korean markets were closed for Independence Day and Japan led the way higher in Asia on Tuesday. The Nikkei added 1.1%, following a 1% drop Monday.
Write to Michael Wursthorn at Michael.Wursthorn@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 15, 2017 12:28 ET (16:28 GMT)