Today stocks moved higher after a volatile past few trading days. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) inched up 0.47% to 13849.52 and the S&P 500 (^INX) rose 0.05% to 1488.44. The Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) declined 0.10% to 3113.10
In economic news, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke to the Senate Banking Committee about the economic perils a sequester would bring unless lawmakers take action before Friday. New home sales for January increased 15.6% to 437,000 from 378,000 in December. Monthly supply fell to 4.9 months from 5.6 months in December.
In international news, Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party won enough votes to undermine the Democratic Party in the Italian parliament.
Home Depot (HD) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $1 billion, or $0.68 per share, up from $774 million, or $0.50 per share, a year ago. Sales increased 13.9 % to $18 billion, higher than analysts expected. Shares surged 5.74% to $67.60.
The first day of BP plc's (BP) trial for its 2010 drilling rig explosion began this week. The New York Times reported that BP would pay $9 billion in penalties to cover damages to the environment. Its stock edged up 0.22% to $40.49.
RadioShack (RSH) reported a fourth-quarter loss of $0.63 per share. Analysts expected a loss of $0.06 per share. Shares rose 4.26% to $3.18.
Taser International's (TASR) board of directors authorized a new share repurchase program for up to $25 million of its common stock. Its stock rose 1.53% to $6.95.
(More from Minyanville: Take a Look Inside the Goldman Sachs Catamaran.)
AutoZone (AZO) reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of $4.78 per share, up from $4.15 per share last year, beating analyst expectations. Its stock fell 2.04% to $370.80.
Caesars Entertainment (CZR) posted a fourth-quarter loss from operations of $343.6 million compared to a loss of $198 million last year. Revenues decreased 4% from a year earlier. Shares moved up 3.08% to $12.07.
Macy's (NYSE:M) fourth-quarter earnings beat analyst estimates, bringing in $2.05 per share compared to Wall Street expectations of $1.99. The department store behemoth brought in $9.35 billion in revenue.
Yesterday Barnes & Noble (BKS) founder Leonard Riggio said he would offer to guy the retail stores and website but not the Nook businesses. The stock moved down 0.275 to $15.02 after surging Monday.
Zynga (ZNGA) shares sank 3.79% to $3.29 despite positive news that Nevada became the first US state to legalize interstate online poker. Zynga already has a Nevada license for online poker.
(More from Minyanville: Zynga's Valuation Rises as Nevada Legalizes Online Gambling.)
Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN) disclosed in a regulatory filing that the Hong Kong government has issued a regulation that would make it more difficult to bring formula milk out of its territory. Shares fell 0.72% to $74.78.
Groupon (GRPN) shares fell 1.97% to $5.48 prior to the release of its fourth-quarter earnings tomorrow. The report should show whether or not its new ventures such as Getaways and Groupon NOW prove profitable. The company is also fine tuning its daily deals to better target customers' interests.
Bank of America (BAC) shares edged up 0.63% to $11.10 after Credit Agricole's Mike Mayo released a report examining whether or not Bank of America has enough liquidity to settle $108 billion that investors lost in the well-known 2008 Countrywide bond debacle.
Nokia (NOK) released two lower-priced Lumia Windows phones to compete better globally. Chinese manufacturers Huawei (SHE:002502) and ZTE (SHE:000063) are becoming more competitive in the international smartphone market. Shares fell 0.55% to $3.61.
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) announced it is selling its webOS software to LG Electronics (KRX:066570), a South Korean electronics company. HP phones that ran on webOS didn't sell well, causing the company to stop making the phones. Shares rose 1.10% to $19.28.