Stocks ended an up-and-down day mostly down on Wall Street as losses by industrial and technology companies offset strength in other sectors and more in Tuesday’s Stock Market Update.
General Electric slumped 4.7 percent Tuesday, and chipmaker Micron Technologies gave up 2.6 percent.
c dropped 10 percent after activist investor Carl Icahn cut his holdings in the car rental company.
Several retailers rose, including Target and Kohl’s, which reported results that were better than analysts were expecting.
Investors were hoping that more details would emerge from media reports Monday that the U.S. and China were getting closer to resolving their trade dispute. The market has often jumped on hopes that progress was being made on the trade talks, only to fall back later as details didn’t come through.
Meanwhile, China plans to take additional measures to help shore up its cooling economy. The nation’s growth target for the year is now between 6 percent and 6.5 percent. That’s slightly below last year’s 6.6 percent growth rate.
THE QUOTE: Stock prices already reflect the recent investor optimism that the U.S. and China are close to reaching a deal to resolve their costly trade dispute, noted Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.
“We’ll know those details when they’re announced,” he said. “That’s part of what the market is digesting at this point in time.”
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index slipped 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,789. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 13 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 25,806. The Nasdaq was little changed at 7,576. More stocks fell than rose on the New York Stock Exchange. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 2.72 percent.
MIXED REPORT: The Commerce Department said sales of new U.S. homes rose 3.7 percent in December, the highest pace in seven months. Even so, sales were down from a year earlier. Homebuilders declined following the release of the report. Meritage Homes slid 3.7 percent.
UPSIDE DOWN SMILE: Align Technology slid 6.3 percent on news that the dental products company will close all its Invisalign stores and expects a charge in the first quarter.
RETAIL RISING: Target gained 4.6 after the retailer surprised investors with its fourth-quarter results and forecast.
The company noted strong online sales and traffic growth during the crucial holiday sales quarter. Target and its peers had to deal with an overall slowdown in retail sales at the end of 2018 while also competing with e-commerce behemoth Amazon.
Kohl’s jumped 7.2 percent following a similarly upbeat fourth-quarter report and forecast.
PIZZA’S UP: Papa John’s International climbed 5.2 percent after the company reached a settlement with founder John Schnatter that includes him resigning from the board of directors.
The company has been floundering since Schnatter took a series of missteps, first blaming disappointing sales on NFL player protests and then using a racial slur during a company conference call. He stepped down as CEO in 2017 and later resigned as chairman of the board.
ICAHN OUT: Shares in Hertz Global Holdings slumped 12.5 percent after activist investor Carl Icahn cut his holdings in the car rental company after it reported upbeat fourth-quarter results.
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