Stocks waver after S&P 500 hits 4-year high
The Dow also sets a multiyear high before turning lower. European traders hope the ECB will help resolve the debt crisis. Urban Outfitters trounces expectations. Best Buy posts a drop in profit and comparable sales.
Updated at 12:13 p.m. ET
Stocks trimmed earlier gains Tuesday after following European markets higher on hopes that meetings this week on Greece and a new crisis plan by the ECB will help resolve the eurozone debt crisis.
Wall Street finished basically flat Monday. But in the first minutes of the open, the S&P 500 advanced past the highest closing level in four years. The Dow also advanced earlier past its 2012 closing high of 13,279.32 from May 1. If it closes above that level, it would be the highest since December 2007. While recent weeks were quiet, markets steadily drove higher on hopes that central banks will act soon to stimulate their economies, and were further boosted by the perception of lower risk from the euro crisis.
Investors also await the Federal Reserve minutes, to be released Wednesday, of its two-day meeting that ended on Aug. 1. The notes could give a clearer picture of the U.S. economy as well as the Fed's plans regarding further stimulus, which could be unveiled at the end of this month at a Fed meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
It's all about Europe and stimulus plans
European stocks hit 13-month highs and the euro climbed Tuesday. Another article on The Daily Telegraph rekindled hopes that the European Central Bank is preparing a bond rescue plan to cap the borrowing costs of troubled sovereign borrowers, specifically Spain and Italy. Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank, continued its criticism of the measure.
Also this week, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss more funding from the EU, International Monetary Fund and ECB.
The euro rose to a two-week high against the dollar and a six-week peak versus the yen Tuesday, lifted by talk of the ECB's possible strong action plans. The U.S. dollar lost ground, hitting its lowest in two weeks.
Oil, too, got a boost from the reports out of Europe as well as by supply concerns triggered by escalating conflicts in Syria and Yemen and Iran's dispute with Israel, the U.S. and Europe, which has led to an embargo on Tehran's crude shipments, Reuters reported.
Asian markets also ended higher Tuesday, helped by Chinese state media reports of policy plans to boost consumption spending.
Stocks to watch
Urban Outfitters (URBN) shares soared more than 15% after the retailer trounced analyst expectations, saying net income rose 8.1% to $61.3 million, or 42 cents a share, from $56.7 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier. Analysts' average estimate called for 33 cents a share.
Best Buy (BBY) shares fell after the consumer electronics retailer reported that net earnings fell as same-store sales declined. Best Buy also cut its fiscal-year profit outlook and suspended its share buybacks for the year.
Facebook (FB) remained in the headlines after director Peter Thiel sold roughly $400 million worth of shares in the social network last week at the end of the lockout period, cashing out most of his stake. Facebook shares have lost 50% of their value since their IPO.
Apple (AAPL) became the most valuable public company in history Monday, surpassing $623 billion. The chief executives of Apple and Samsung Electronics have talked but did not settle the high-stakes patent dispute between the two electronics companies, a Samsung attorney said in court on Monday.
Dell (DELL) will report its quarterly results after the close. It is expected to post earnings of 45 cents a share on $14.65 billion in revenue.
Citigroup (C) became the first Western lender to issue credit cards in China without co-branding from a local financial institution. Also, CEO Vikram Pandit has rejected the idea of big banks being split up, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
Global buyout fund KKR & Co L.P. (KKR) has placed a bet on China's $38 billion youth apparel retail market, saying it will acquire a stake in privately held retailer Novo Holdco for $30 million, Reuters reported.
slight yes, slightly no. i think the frugal people who paid in full or paid off their homes will still come out ahead. smugly we can stay calm when the collapse happens. no one is taking my house. it is sad that the cash i accumulated will lose it's value. but i'll still come out ahead instead of deeper debt.
>>>>> The people that were responsible and frugal will be punished and the debtors rewarded for borrowing and spending money they cannot pay back. <<<<<
Timmy the Tax Cheat is in Euriope to prop up the central bank's printing of mo' money.
Hope and Change, mmm, mmm, mmm.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
In this economy, you'd think these retailers would be racking up the sales. That's not the case.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.