Stocks have had a quiet morning as investors await the next market catalysts during a slow, late August trading session that hasn't included much on the trade front or in terms of economic data. Reports in both the Washington Post and New York Times are suggesting the White House is anxious about the economy and is contemplating various actions aimed at bolstering confidence and growth as a result, but those are not giving much of a boost to stocks as the major averages are mildly lower near midday.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no economic data of note was released.
TOP NEWS: A trio of big-name retailers reported on their quarterly results, most notably Home Depot (HD), which beat earnings expectations but posted lower than expected sales. The Dow member also lowered its FY19 revenue growth view to approximately 2.3% from 3.3% and trimmed its FY19 same-store sales growth outlook to approximately 4% from 5%, citing lower than expected lumber prices and potential impacts from recent tariffs. Despite the lowered outlook, Home Depot shares are up 4% near noon.
Shares of Kohl's (KSS) are not responding as well, sliding over 5% despite the fact that the company reported better than expected earnings and sales and also backed its FY19 adjusted earnings per share view.
TJX Companies (TJX), the parent of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, is down 2% after reporting consolidated same-store sales in its stores grew 2%, driving in-line earnings in the second quarter. The company gave lower than expected earnings guidance for the third quarter, but backed its FY20 EPS view.
In M&A news, Elanco Animal Health (ELAN) announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Bayer's (BAYRY) animal health business in a transaction valued at $7.6B. To pay for the deal, Bayer AG will receive $5.32B in cash, subject to customary adjustments, and $2.28B, or approximately 68M, Elanco common shares.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Endo (ENDP), which jumped 26% after it reached a settlement in principle to resolve Track 1 opioid cases. Also higher was Medtronic (MDT), which gained 4% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Sarepta (SRPT), which fell 16% after the company announced it had received a complete response letter from the Food and Drug Administration for its new drug application for golodirsen, citing risk of infection and renal toxicity. Also lower was Fabrinet (FN), which fell 16% after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 51.21, or 0.2%, to 26,084.58, the Nasdaq was down 11.17, or 0.14%, to 7,991.65, and the S&P 500 was down 7.68, or 0.26%, to 2,915.97.