Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) is making an effort to break out of its August blues. Stock futures as of 7:10 a.m. EDT point to a 34-point bounce at the opening bell, and the index looks like it will avoid its first sub-15,000 opening since June 5. Markets in Europe and Asia fell, and interest rates continue to creep up in advance of tomorrow's Federal Reserve meeting minutes release.
Home Depot's stock should attract buyers after the company reported earnings results this morning that easily beat Wall Street's estimates. Buoyed by a recovering housing market, the company logged a 9.5% jump in quarterly revenue to $22.5 billion. Profit came in at $1.24 a share, 23% higher than in the year-ago quarter and above the $1.21 that analysts had expected. And in a quarter in which many retailers have been happy to report any sales growth at all, Home Depot managed a scorching 11.4% rise in comparable-store sales. Shares are up 3% in premarket trading.
Apple could also see active trading today. The company's stock has bucked the market trend lately, surging higher by 20% over the last month. Yesterday The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is gearing up for a strategic shift in the smartphone market. It could begin selling two new iPhones, a high-end and low-end version, as early as next month. While iPhone sales have been on a tear -- they rose 20% last quarter to 31.2 million units -- concerns are rising that Apple is reaching a saturation point. CEO Tim Cook rejected that thinking in a conference call with analysts in July, saying, "I don't subscribe to the common view that the higher end, if you will, of the smartphone market is at its peak." However, that doesn't mean the iPhone couldn't dramatically expand its base at a lower price point.
Finally, Best Buy reported surprising profit this morning. The struggling retailer managed to arrest its revenue slide, turning in just a 0.4% drop in quarterly sales. Earnings of $0.32 per share handily beat analyst expectations of $0.12. Best Buy's "Renew Blue" strategy paid off in the quarter as online sales ticked up and cost cuts allowed for deeper promotions without a big drop in profitability. Shares are up 160% so far this year -- and they're 10.5% higher in premarket trading.
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