Home Depot Inc. dropped 1.5% to be the biggest Dow decliner on Monday after Raymond James lowered the rating to market perform from outperform. Analyst Budd Bugatch said the largest U.S. home-improvement retailer, as of its closing price on Friday, has surpassed his previous 12-month price target. While the retailer's stock price is the key reason behind the downgrade, Bugatch said there are also some mixed signs about the strength and health of the housing market and related consumer spending. For instance, the Commerce Department's monthly retail sales of building material, garden equipment and supply detailers declined from prior month in June, July and August, the analyst said. Meanwhile, existing home prices are still below new home prices, and mortgage availability remains tight and may not improve much next year, he said.
Copyright © 2014 MarketWatch, Inc.