Stocks fluctuate after housing data

All eyes remain on the Fed's symposium as traders hope for more stimulus. US home prices rise. Consumer confidence declines. Japan cuts its economic forecast, while Spain's recession deepens. Apple seeks to ban 8 Samsung phones.

By Melly Alazraki Aug 28, 2012 9:21AM
stock marketUpdated at 12:50 p.m. ET

Stocks traded in a narrow range Tuesday morning in what will likely remain the pattern for rest of the session. Traders continued to watch for stimulus signals from the Federal Reserve on Friday as concerns over European debt crisis mounted. Investors also digested a promising gain in home prices and a disappointing decline in consumer confidence.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) was up 5 points points at 13,129. The S&P 500 ($INX) was up 1 points at 1,412. The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) was up 7 points at 3,080.

After closing mostly unchanged on low volume Monday, the quiet trading trading is expected to continue this week ahead of the the Federal Reserve symposium at the end of the week at Jackson Hole, Wyo., where Chairman Ben Bernanke is set to speak. Many observers hope Bernanke will hint at more easing action by the Fed.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi was supposed to speak at Jackson Hole on Saturday, but he canceled his trip and no one from the ECB's executive board will attend. The ECB has been working on a bond-buying plan to ease the eurozone's debt problems and help trigger growth. The details of the plan, however, have been unclear, as is the timeline for its implementation.
Global growth concerns
Asian stocks ended mixed Tuesday. While Chinese stocks rebounded from Monday's declines, Japanese stocks slumped after the country cut its economic forecast for the first time this year as slowing global growth weighed on exports.

European shares also traded lower after Japan's data. More economic figures out of Europe exacerbated investors' concerns.

Spain's economic recession deepened in the second quarter, as gross domestic product contracted by 0.4% from the first quarter and by 1.3% compared with the second quarter of last year. The government has been implementing austerity measures to reduce the third-largest budget deficit in the eurozone.

Meanwhile, borrowing costs fell sharply at a government bond auction of both Spain and Italy.

In Europe's largest economy, German consumer confidence is set to remain high in September, German market research group GfK said.

US data
U.S. home prices rose for a fifth month in a row in June. The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 0.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis, topping economists' forecasts for 0.5%, according to a Reuters poll. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the price index jumped 2.3%, pointing to an improving housing market as all 20 cities managed monthly gains.

In a sign consumers turned more pessimistic, consumer confidence unexpectedly weakened in August to its lowest in nine months, according to the Conference Board. The index fell to 60.6 from a downwardly revised 65.4 (from 65.9 originally) the month before. Economists had expected an increase to 66, according to a Reuters poll.

Stocks to watch
After winning a court battle against Samsung and being awarded $1 billion in damages, Apple (AAPL) is now seeking to ban eight Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S2 and Droid Charge. Samsung shares, which slumped 7% Monday after the ruling, recovered somewhat in Asian trading Tuesday.

Lexmark (LXK) said it will stop making inkjet printers, cutting about 1,700 jobs, and focus on its more profitable imaging and software businesses.

Gilead Sciences (GILD) shares rose after the Food and Drug Administration approved its four-drug combination pill to treat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

PVH Corp (PVH) raised its full-year earnings outlook for the third time this year, as it expects its European business to grow and its flagship Tommy Hilfiger brand to remain popular with shoppers.

Canada's Bank of Montreal (BMO) and Scotiabank (BNS) both released second-quarter earnings that came in well ahead of analyst expectations.
Aug 28, 2012 10:49AM


He spent 250m to find  25m in Medicare fraud!


He refuses to prosecute the criminal bankers responsible for the derivatives scheme that blew up the housing market causing this mess. The Office of Thrift Supervision remains closed under his administration. They are the branch of government that was responsible for locking up the criminal bankers during the first S&L crisis.


He not only gave them immunity from prosecution, but he took it one step further and surrounded himself with them as his top economic advisors.


I suppose I should run to the polls on election day to vote for him for killing Bin Laden, and saving government dollars.

Aug 28, 2012 11:42AM

Bob from Florida - Saved the auto industry?  Chrysler was "saved" with government loans in 1980.  Then Daimler "saved" them in the late 1990's.  Then a private firm "saved" them when Daimler sold Chrysler at an 80% loss.  Then they were "saved" again by the current administration.  The point is, it's a little premature to use the word "saved".  More like "not dead yet".  Filing for bancruptcy would have had the same effect and not required risking taxpayer money.  The government has a bad history of "investing" because they make political - not economic - decisions.

Not sure where you got your figures for the reinvestment and recovery act.  The fact is this is the worst recovery ever so it apparently failed to live up to it's name.  I did like the stimulus tracker.  I actually used it over the years and found nearly all of the"infrastructure" money was used for federal buildings.  Now the president wants more "infrastructure" money.  Too bad he blew his credibility the first time around. 

Aug 28, 2012 9:55AM

"Ben Dover to the rescue, Ben Dover to the rescue....."

Now I see he's on his own since his European counterpart bailed on him from the Jackson Hole symposium.

It's going to be lonely up there on the podium by yourself Ben.......don't pee yourself.

Aug 28, 2012 11:18AM
average joe is leaving the market in groves. The market will never be the same. Kinda funny in a way cause now all the rich can do is screw each other.
Aug 28, 2012 10:06AM

Hi everyone ! Isaac was a great rehearsal for us and the neighborhood did just fine. We just had to clean up a little debris that got blown down from the trees. As far as the thrill seeking surfing goes; it was some what ridable Sunday, but extremely choppy.


We're getting packed up to head over to Tampa for the next few day's. Maybe I'll get to have lunch with our next President. Now, don't be too jealous Fat Cat; I hear Romney likes fresh lobster better than stale club sandwiches.


Finance tip for the week: Don't count on any stimulus, it's not coming!

Aug 28, 2012 9:39AM

>>>>>>Where is Ron Paul when we need him? Landslide victory potential, for sure. <<<<<


there are a lot of republicans who will vote for him just because he's a republican (catch 45% of the vote right there).  then the swing vote, along with fence sitting democrats, and independent voters. 


his wacky details could be controlled by a congress actually working with each other in the best interest of the country. 


i'd love to see ron paul reach the main election! 

Aug 28, 2012 10:00AM

because no one is buying the "old model"


>>>>>General Motors will temporarily close the Detroit-area plant that makes the Chevrolet Volt next month to control inventory and prepare to make a new model.<<<<<

Aug 28, 2012 10:59AM
........All eyes remain on the Fed's symposium as traders (junkies) hope for more stimulus (crack). Screw them! I hope they keep on Jonesing and have severe withdraws! We need the stock market to be reality based, not Hopey Changey Based!
Aug 28, 2012 11:13AM

man I don't even need to come here to see the same thing over and over again, stocks struggle, stocks rally stocks flat, stocks down, bernanke this, bernanke that, is anyone gonna come right out and say it already? bernanke's a fraud and a shill for the obama regime, stocks don't know what the hell to rally for and stimulus 3??!!! r u serious!! we're tripling down on failed policies?? oh right, of course we are this is after all the obama regime hell bent on drop kicking this country through the goalpost of failure, mediocrity, and dispair!! and of course another company in a downward spiral Lexamark firing 1700 people!! once again we must thank the idiot "guilty white" vote for this continued Depression!!  but all is not lost people,


Romny/Ryan + obama/biden = Reagan/carter redux, oh! the excitment of it all!! evertime I see this equation I get so hard I can cut diamonds!!!!!

Aug 28, 2012 10:27AM
Nothing like good old raw, cut-throat, bottom-line over all else loyalty to and from our allies:
"The United States pledged in April to triple military aid to Manila in 2012 while remaining broadly cautious on defense ties."
Since they appreciate all our generous support and money so much, they are buying a few billion dollars worth of Airbus planes instead of Boeings.
Aug 28, 2012 10:50AM
Longbeach...Oh please...You cannot truly believe all the false crap you're posting...Please, take a nice, long, warm shower and gather your senses. 
Aug 28, 2012 11:07AM
Maybe Draghi realizes how frightfully expensive these useless finance summits cost, and wants to save his government the expense.  
Aug 28, 2012 10:24AM

2Endeavour, Why don't you post something of substance, or is Obama's record so bad that you have to post slanderous stories to promote your political agenda? I guess a liberal response to you would be "WHATEVER 2ENDEAVOR!!!"


Aug 28, 2012 10:19AM

The headline on the article should read "stocks edge lower as traders wait on the fed"  It is not the investors but the traders.  Let's tell the truth Wall Street instead of trying to put the blame on the investors!!!!!

Aug 28, 2012 10:35AM
Rising home prices, rising gas prices, NO JOBS. ah yes how Obuma's polocies are working NOT!!!!!
Aug 28, 2012 9:41AM
ooohh, now I see its the housing data that gives me the confidence to buy or sell stock
Aug 28, 2012 11:17AM

I wrote:"So far, they have cost the American taxpayer (their owners) 18.1 BILLION dollars!"

V_L wrote: Really? By saving GM and all those jobs, they saved YOU from paying more taxes to offset what would have been cataclysmic job (and thus revenue shortfalls). You GOP Kool Aid addicts need to end your selective memory and mathematics amnesia. No good will come from YOUR adverse agenda, we have too many examples of it already. 


Your Us vs Them attitude is much of what is wrong with our country. When someone posts a boldface lie (as Longbeach did) they should be called on it. Why don't you stop the namecalling and go back to advocating the re-enactment of Glass-Stegall? That would be a great beginning to getting us out of the mess we're in. 



Aug 28, 2012 10:34AM
Expect the unexpected.

MSN: "In a sign consumers turned more pessimistic, consumer confidence unexpectedly weakened in August to its lowest in nine months, according to the Conference Board. The index fell to 60.6 from a downwardly revised 65.4 (from 65.9 originally) the month before. Economists had expected an increase to 66"
Aug 28, 2012 12:52PM
What a surprise consumer confidence went down with 8.3% unemployment and people working not getting any raises and then finding out the same money is buying less.So much for hope and change.
Aug 28, 2012 11:33AM
Jackson HOLE  will be Wall Street's BLACK HOLE !  TAKE YOUR MONEY AND RUN !!
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