STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's what you need to know

Stocks gave up an early rally in trading on Tuesday to close little changed, as gold sank to a fresh six-year low and the dollar rallied.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 17,492.13, +9.12, (0.05%)
  • S&P 500: 2,051.47, -1.72, (-0.08%)
  • Nasdaq: 4,986.75, +2.13, (0.04%)

And now, the top stories:

  1. Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose for the first time in three months in October. CPI rose 0.2% month-on-month, and 0.2% year-on-year, right in line with expectations. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, core CPI rose 0.2% month-on-month, and 1.9% year-on-year. Breakfast cereal prices jumped by the most since 2008, while medical care prices increased 0.8% month-on-month, the biggest since April. In a client note, Stifel chief economist Lindsey Piefza noted that inflation is still tame from a monetary policy standpoint, especially amid the drop in commodity prices.
  2. Industrial production unexpectedly fell in October. The Federal Reserve’s report showed that production fell 0.2% in October, while capacity utilization was unchanged from September at 77.5%. A 2.5% decline in utilities production weighed down the report, amid warmer-than-usual weather. Manufacturing output rose 0.4%, as economists point to signs that the sector may be rebounding.
  3. Homebuilder sentiment also dropped unexpectedly. The National Association of Homebuilders’ housing market index for November was 62. It was a pullback after the prior print hit a 10-year high. The October number was revised even higher to 65 from 64. The index gauges the current sentiment and six-month outlook of NAHB members on market conditions for new home sales.
  4. Shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods fell by as much as 17% after the company reported disappointing third-quarter results. Its forecast for fourth-quarter earnings was also bleaker than expected. Dick’s reported third-quarter adjusted earnings of $US0.45 per share, missing by a penny, on sales of $US1.64 billion, below the $US1.66 billion expected. Dick’s said warm weather was hurting sales of winter apparel, and signalled a “promotional environment” in Q4.
  5. SunEdison tanked by about 34%, as the renewable energy company’s debt obligations and cash holdings come under scrutiny. On its last earnings call, the company disclosed a number of cash obligations to its yieldcos. Also, on Monday, Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn disclosed in a 13F filing that he sold 6.2 million shares in the third quarter.

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