Stocks give back some gains after averages hit record levels
The major averages are slipping a bit in morning trading on the heels of the Dow and S&P 500 hitting new highs yesterday. Post-earnings slides in Walmart and Home Depot are not helping, although both mega-retailers beat consensus expectations on both of their top and bottom lines.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales edged up 0.3% and were up 0.2% excluding autos in October. Import prices dipped 0.1% in October and export prices increased 0.2%. Industrial production bounced 1.0% in October. The NAHB housing market index surged another 5 points to 90 in November, marking a third straight monthly record high. Business inventories climbed 0.7% in September and sales were 0.6% higher, both of which were better than forecast.
TOP NEWS: Shares of CVS Health (CVS), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), Rite Aid (RAD), GoodRx (GDRX), Cigna (CI), UnitedHealth (UNH), McKesson (MCK), Cardinal Health (CAH), AmerisourceBergen (ABC) and other companies in the pharmacy supply chain are all moving lower today after Amazon (AMZN) announced two new pharmacy offerings. The new offerings include Amazon Pharmacy, a new store on Amazon, and an Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit.
Shares of Walmart (WMT) were fractionally lower near noon despite the retailer reporting better than expected earnings and sales in the third quarter. U.S. comp sales were up 6.4% in the quarter, while Walmart U.S. e-commerce sales grew 79%, the company said.
In other earnings news, Home Depot (HD) is moving 3% lower despite its own report of better than expected sales and profits in the third quarter. Comparable sales for Q3 were up 24.1%, and comparable sales in the U.S. were up 24.6%, in what chairman and CEO Craig Menear called "another exceptional quarter for The Home Depot."
Shares of Tesla (TSLA) are up 9% near noon after news that the stock will be added to the S&P 500 effective prior to the open of trading on Monday, December 21 to coincide with the December quarterly rebalance.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was AXT Inc. (AXTI), which rose 23% after it agreed to merge two of its raw material companies into its wafer manufacturing company and announced it is raising capital in China as a step toward listing on the Shanghai STAR exchange.
Also higher was Paramount Group (PGRE), which gained 16% after its board unanimously rejected an unsoliciated proposal from Bow Street to acquire all of the company's outstanding shares for between $9.50 and $10 per share in cash.
Among the notable losers was BrainStorm (BCLI), which declined 67% after the company's Phase 3 trial of NurOwn did not reach statistically significant results.
Also lower was Gan Limited (GAN), which fell 15% after it reported quarterly results and agreed to acquire Coolbet for EUR149.1M.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 129.79, or 0.43%, to 29,820.65, the Nasdaq was down 7.23, or 0.06%, to 11,916.90, and the S&P 500 was down 9.57, or 0.26%, to 3,617.34.