Stocks have turned mixed after rising early in the session.
The Dow is down 2 points, the S&P 500 is down 2 points, and the Nasdaq is up 7 points.
Earlier today, we got mixed economic data, with consumer confidence jumping to a 7-year high in July, while home prices fell more than expected.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for July jumped to 90.9 from 85.2 in June, marking the index’s best reading since October 2007. Economists were expecting the report to climb to 85.4.
In contrast, the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. home price index showed home prices fell 0.3% from last month, missing economists’ expectations for a 0.3% gain. “Housing has been turning in mixed economic numbers in the last few months. Prices and sales of existing homes have shown improvement while construction and sales of new homes continue to lag. At the same time, the broader economy and especially employment are showing larger improvements and substantial gains,” said S&P’s David Blitzer.
Also on the economic data front, market participants are now focused on tomorrow morning’s initial reading of Q2 GDP, and tomorrow afternoon’s expected results of the Federal Reserve’s latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting.
It was another busy morning for corporate earnings.
Healthcare giants Pfizer and Merck both reported earnings per share that beat expectations, while both companies saw sales slip.
Shipping giant UPS reported earnings per share that missed expectations while also trimming its full-year earnings forecast. The company reported that U.S. domestic daily packaged volume climbed 7.4% while international shipments jumped 9.1%.
Windstream Holdings shares are surging, up more than 11% after the company this morning announced plans to spin-off its fibre and copper network assets into a real estate investment trust, or REIT. Windstream peer Frontier Communications was also up more than 11% and CenturyLink was up better than 3% following the announcement.
It’s also a big day for many professionals in the financial world, as results of the Levels I and II CFA exam were released, with 42% of June test-takers passing the Level I exam and 46% of tex-takers passing the Level II exam.
Shares of chicken chain El Pollo Loco are down 11%, the stock’s first drop after two days of massive gains after its public debut on July 25, and in his Monday morning note, market guru Dennis Gartman said the IPO, and and subsequent rally, smelled like a market top.
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