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Stocks Hold Steady on a Flurry of Earnings Reports

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

Stocks held steady a day after concerns were voiced that we may be in for a pullback. Activist investor Carl Icahn was among those saying the market was in for a "big drop." Meanwhile, traders had a number of new earnings reports today to help them gauge the overall health of the economy, the effect of rising interest rates on housing, and the retail sector.

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Home Depot (HD) moved 1% higher on its earnings. The world's largest home improvement behemoth made 95-cents a share, a nickel better than expectations and up from 74-cents a year ago. Revenues also topped estimates at nearly $19.470-billion when expectations were for $19.183-billion. The company says the gains reflect health in the domestic housing market.

Best Buy (BBY) dropped nearly 11% on a cautious holiday outlook. The drop came despite a healthy beat, with the electronics giant making 18-cents a share when expectations were for 12-cents a share. Revenues were just slightly below the consensus at $9.36-billion versus $9.37-billion. The move lower reflects concerns over the current quarter. The company says it expects a tough competitive environment during the holiday season. It's planning price matches and doorbusters despite the effect on profits. Prior to today the stock was up 269% year-to-date.

Campbell Soup (CPB) cooled on its earning with the stock sliding 6%. The company made 66-cents a share, 20-cents below estimates. Revenues were also below the consensus at $2.17-billion when estimates had been for $2.29-billion. Campbell remains the world's largest soup maker but is trying to shift its business amid waning demand. The company's portfolio also includes Prego, Pepperidge Farm, and Bolthouse Farms.

TJX Companies (TJX) hit a new all-time high today on its earnings. The parent company of discount chains including TJMaxx reported profits of 75-cents a share, a penny better than expected. Sales, meanwhile, hit the $7-billion mark when the consensus was for $6.91-billion. The company says the holiday shopping season is off to a strong start, and it's maintaining its current outlook.

Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) also hit a new all-time high on its earnings. The retailer exceeded expectations by a penny, earning 40-cents a share. Sales also surpassed the consensus at $1.4-billion when estimates had come in at $1.37-billion. Dick's heads into the holiday season with the stock up about 25% year-to-date.

Tesla (TSLA) recouped some of its losses from yesterday. The stock gained nearly 4% after dropping over 10% yesterday. Yesterday's plunge follows word that the Model S plug-in sedan will now be investigated by U.S. auto regulators. A recall could follow. It has been a rocky month for Tesla, which went into today's session with down 33% over the past month.

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