Stocks edge higher on mixed economic reports

Consumer confidence declines for a fourth straight month, while home prices rise in most major US cities. Worries over Europe's debt crisis persist as Spanish borrowing costs soar. News Corp. may split up.

By TheStreet Staff Jun 26, 2012 9:17AM

TheStreetImage: Wall Street sign (© Corbis/SuperStock) Updated at 12:34 a.m. ET

By Andrea Tse

Stocks rose Tuesday on reports showing a drop in U.S. consumer confidence and signs of improvement in a key home price index.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) was up 31 points at 12,533. The S&P 500 ($INX) was up 6 points at 1,319. The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) was up 13 points to 2,849.


Stocks closed sharply lower Monday as investors fled riskier assets on concerns about Europe's ability to address its escalating debt problems. The latest batch of worrisome headlines included Cyprus' reportedly asking for a bailout, the resignation of Greece's finance minister, and Spain's making a formal request for funding to solidify its banking system.

The U.S. Conference Board on Tuesday reported consumer expectations declined for the fourth month in a row, the lowest reading since November. The June reading fell to 62 from a downwardly revised 64.4 in May. Economists had expected a reading of 63.5, according to a Reuters poll.

April home prices were up in nearly all major U.S. cities, The Associated Press reported Tuesday, adding to evidence of a recovery in the housing market. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index showed increases in 19 of the 20 cities tracked. It's the second straight month to show an increase. A measure of national prices rose 1.3%, the first increase in seven months, AP said.

In Europe, German market research group GfK predicted that its consumer sentiment index for Germany will improve in July for the first time in five months, rising to 5.8 from 5.7 in June, as an improvement in income expectations helps offset worries about the economic impact of the eurozone turbulence.

The FTSE in London was down 0.07%, and the DAX in Germany was up 0.07%.

The Spanish Treasury sold 3.077 billion euros ($3.850 billion) in three-month and six-month treasury bills Tuesday at much heftier borrowing costs than in the prior month as investors grew more and more concerned that the country will have trouble handling its debt as it requests financial aid for its shaky banking sector.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng index closed up by 0.45%, and the Nikkei in Japan settled down by 0.81%.

News Corp. (NWSA) is considering splitting into two companies, separating its smaller publishing business from its entertainment businesses, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation. The split would carve off such assets as 20th Century Fox film studio, Fox broadcast network and Fox News channel from News Corp.'s newspapers, book publishing assets and education businesses. News Corp. owns the Journal. A final decision on the split hasn't been made, according to the Journal. News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch has previously opposed such a move but has recently warmed to the idea, said one person familiar with the situation.

Facebook (FB) named Sheryl Sandberg, the social-networking company's No. 2 executive, to its board. Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, is the eighth member of the company's board and its first woman.

LDK Solar (LDK) posted a loss in the first quarter Tuesday of $135.8 million, or 1.46 cents per American depository share, a reversal from year-earlier profit of $135.4 million, or 95 cents per ADS. Net sales fell 74% to $200 million from $766.3 million a year earlier. Analysts were expecting LDK Solar to post a loss of $1.14 per ADS on revenue of $225.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

Apollo Group (APOL), the operator of the University of Phoenix, reported fiscal-third-quarter adjusted earnings Monday of $1.20 a share on revenue of $1.13 billion, beating analysts' estimates of a profit of 97 cents a share on revenue of $1.12 billion. Apollo forecast revenue of $4.2 billion to $4.3 billion for fiscal 2012.

Coinstar (CSTR) said Monday it will record a charge of 40 cents to 50 cents a share in fiscal 2012 on its deal to acquire NCR's (NCR) DVD rental kiosk business.

More from TheStreet

Jun 26, 2012 9:34AM
"Republican and Democratic congressional leaders are weighing whether to delay automatic federal spending cuts until March 2013, according to a House aide and industry officials who were briefed on the discussions."

Both parties..... ONE IN THE SAME!

Trust Neither.
Jun 26, 2012 10:17AM

Did you know that even if every registered voter in the USA signed a petition asking for a vote to cut the pay of the politicans in Washington they would not be required to hold a vote.


No framework for a national initiative stinks........ democracy...... What democracy?? We get to vote on what they offer. We get to vote on who they offer. I'm sick of the lawyers in DC.

Jun 26, 2012 10:31AM

Just imagin yourself walking up to your neighbors door with a clip board and petition. Hi neighbor we have decided that the politicians in Washington need to be on Social Security just like the the rest of us citizens instead of having lavish pensions even after only a year of service.


Would you like to sign this petition to force a national vote on this issue? HELL YES I DO


Not going to happen..... democracy....... what democracy?

Jun 26, 2012 10:17AM
Common sense sometimes finds its way into these staff articles.  Like okay all the pressure we see is to lower wages in this country.  With declining wages, lowest interest morgage loans in history, inflation pressure on basic staples like food and energy, higher taxes in the  immediate future; both federal and local, and we see the banner flying for higher homes prices.  Cmon does that not fly in the face of economic reality.  We have millions and millions of homes hidden away in banks secret 'dark rooms' where they refuse to disclose  their true inventory .  Imagine a bank not being forthright in listing its liabilities.  When I was growing up this would be unheard of.  There would be 500 federal agents armed with CPAS and US Marshalls all ready to lock the doors such that this bank couldn't continue these illegal operations. Yet with the new "enlightened" relationship between banks and governments this is agreed upon activity.  No folks our most trusted organizations have now become infected with a virus called corruption.  The only recourse I see is tearing it down and starting over.
Jun 26, 2012 10:27AM
Hey Obummer, how about an executive order mandating Congressional Term limits. 4 years and you are out....with no lifetime pension. That would solve a butt load of problems and would cut the budget at the same time. 
Jun 26, 2012 10:04AM

Along with delaying the spending cuts.....Are not letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire either; Until after the elections....

Everyone of the bastards are posturing for election votes, and don't give a damn about what is happening to the average American......And just kicking it down the road to get re-elected.

Anyone that doesn't see that, has to be completely blinded by partisan politics...And doesn't care much about America either.


Yeah they should all be voted out.....

Jun 26, 2012 10:43AM
I'll say it again ALL GOVERNMENT WORKERS need to work till at least 62 before they can draw on their pensions.  This will save a boat load of money!
Jun 26, 2012 10:05AM
Interpret this:    Housing prices rise in all major US cities. housing prices fell less than expected,   WTF does that mean??????????
Jun 26, 2012 10:18AM
Yesterday the market was down on "Europe worries...'  today it is seems to be going up on "housing data..."   why dont you just call it what it is:  pure speculation.. speculators see an opportunity to make a buck by dumping their donkey off and they do
Jun 26, 2012 10:21AM

A read on Consumer Confidence = A vote of NO Confidence in goverment, banking and our beloved PRESS who is here to protect us and give us accurate information !  GO FIGURE !

Jun 26, 2012 11:17AM
The real war has started ; The Individual investors versus The Investment bankers and their useless instruments and methods all designed to put money in their pockets and you keep getting the scraps if their are any to go around. Have you looked at your 401K lately? Take away your employers matching contribution amount and take away what your putting in every month if any and what do you have? NOTHING or A NEGATIVE IN THE LAST 10 YEARS...ALL OF THE AMERICAN PENSIONS ARE UNDER FUNDED AS WELL BECAUSE OF THE SAME GAMES AND WALL STREET ROBBERY. WALL STREET IS CUTTING, SLICING AND SUCKING THE LIFE OUT OF ITS CITIZENS THE WORKING CLASS...! THEY ENJOY SEEING THE REST OF US STRUGGLE.....TURN THE TABLES ON THEM. BRING THEM DOWN TO OUR LEVEL. DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN THEIR GAMES ANY MORE AND GET OUT OF THE MARKETS BEFORE THEY COLLAPSE...!!
Jun 26, 2012 10:42AM

This is the crux of this whole article -


"Consumer expectations declined for the fourth month in a row, the lowest reading since November"


Consumers will bring us out of this mess when they fill confident in their job security and NOT THE STUPID FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.




1. cash for clunkers


2. 0.00% interest rates - if we had real interest rates the FED could not pay the interest on the debt!


3. printing monoploy money like there is no tomorrow


4. demonizing anyone who has worked to make any kind of wealth


5. housing tax incentives including tax rebates and reducing the principal for people who owe more than the house is now worth.  -No job, no down payment, can't afford - no problem!


6. forcing financing on solar and wind power and demoanizing fossil fuel - we do not have the pwoer grids to handle electric cars as the primary fuel - how much money have we (THE TAXPAYER) lost just this year in these type loans - these were what i will call SUBPRIME ALTERNATIVE ENERGY LOANS!


Sorry to those who played by the rules - you get ZERO help!!!

Jun 26, 2012 11:12AM

After the 08 market rip off took down the world economy and destroyed the retirements of millions of American workers they are having a hard time proving they have any credibility left. Facebook IPO debacle, JPMorgan derivative flop soon after the derivatives in the hedge funds mess of 08, just now passed a bill to stop insider trading in congress.


Wall street will find it harder to find any chumps to rip off, they destroyed the middle class so the small or individual investor is going to be hard to find. I mean really how many times can you stick your hand in the fire and not learn from it. The market survived and thrived on trust and credibility, deregulation, Ha! Trust me and trust us is a joke, they have ruined the good faith and integrity of institutions over a 100 years old. The big bonus theory makes for some stupid bets in the market place, always trying to go for the bit score to impress the board members. They got the common sense rules that seperated the commercial banks from Wall Street removed, they then gambled big and lost big, took down the world economy! None of the commons sense regulations to keep the cowboy speculators in check have ever been applied since the 08 crash, they could do it again tomorrow. Wall Street has the credibility of the loan shark on the bad side of town..They are having a hard time flushing the chumps anymore and will have until some of the old Roosevelt regulations are broght back, at least the Voker Rule and Frank Dodd Act, that Wall Street if fighting tooth and nail.

Jun 26, 2012 11:26AM

The best investment for the average person right now is a lifestyle change.


Live within your means.

Get out of debt.

Personal responsibility.

Take care of you and yours.


If everyone followed those four principles the majority of our economic/social woes in this country would evaporate in a generation. The sad thing is, it will take a true collapse for enough people to wake up to this reality.

Jun 26, 2012 11:06AM
Judging by the price G.M. is getting today,they should be re-working their pension plans also.Never should have given such a large piece of G.M. to the unions.
Jun 26, 2012 9:46AM
Seems to me like MSN is reducing the time this particular blog is available (at least as the headline).  Comes up later and changes earlier.   Suspect they are reading how totally bizarre some of the posts are.  
Jun 26, 2012 10:01AM
I wouldn't believe any article posted on MSN! I get the feeling that they are trying ever harder and harder to make things on Fraud Street look rosier and rosier... when in fact, the bottom could fall out of the entire world market any second. Are the MSN postings written by the Fed and our illustrious fearless leader B. Husein Obama?
Jun 26, 2012 9:58AM

I heard Jesse Ventura talking about the Rep/Dem problem as well. 
Seems the smart folks are beginning to realize a lot of the  responsibility for the demise of our financial well being is this corrupt Dem/Rep stranglehold on the participation of all Americans in our governing  system.  Outsourcing is just another example of a Union but only a different shade.  Everyone who is complaining about the present well established Unions are forgeting that anytime you have barred entry and wage controls you are exhibiting Union activity.  The Congress and Senate are the purist forms of Unions left in this Country.    You don't play ball with either group you have no entry.

Jun 26, 2012 11:10AM

So let me get this straight??


Economy is in the dumper. Employment is in the dumper. Our debt is unpayable. Our dollar has devaluated once and may devaluate again? Inflation is on the rise. Foreign policy sucks and foreign leaders hate us? Housing situation is a mess. Am I forgetting anything??


And there are actually people that are so stupid, they want to re-elect Obama!!! Unbelievable!

Jun 26, 2012 9:58AM

Great News!

Housing prices fall "Less than expected" is not something that should be causing a rally. Are we so desperate that just kind of bad numbers are seen as good.

When the consumer confidence numbers come out, look for a big hit to the market. In the present environment consumers are doing with less and less in an effort to try to build up some kind of a cushion against it being their turn to join the unemployed.

Oh yea- Europe hasn't gone away yet either  and it is not going to any time soon!!


Bye Bye Barry

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market welcomed the new trading week with a mixed session that saw relative strength among large-cap stocks, while high-beta names underperformed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.3%) and S&P 500 (-0.1%) finished near their flat lines, while the Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000 both lost 1.1%.

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