Markets Rise Slightly as Earnings Season Continues

Earning season continues to roll on, and with a number of Dow components scheduled to report this week, investors are in for an information overload. This afternoon, the major U.S. stock indexes are not reacting as one would expect them to react to this morning's disappointing macroeconomic data: As of 12:50 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is up by 17 points, or 0.11%, while the S&P 500 has risen 0.25% and the Nasdaq is 0.35% higher.

The poor economic data pertains to the housing industry, and shares of the Dow's housing-related component, Home Depot, are down slightly. The National Association of Realtors reported that existing-home sales declined 1.2% in June and that the annualized sales figure fell to 5.08 million homes. The average economist estimate called for a rise to 5.28 million in June, so the miss was sizable. But shares of Home Depot have not plummeted, indicating that investors are not overly concerned about one month's miss and have confidence that housing and Home Depot will not fall off the map.  

Shares of McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) are down 2.7% to lead the Dow's laggards after the company announced earnings this morning. As my colleague Alex Dumortier noted earlier today, the company missed the expected earnings of $1.40 per share by just $0.02, and while same-store sales figures in the U.S. rose by 1% during the quarter, that missed the company's expectations of matching GDP growth over the same time frame. Furthermore, CEO Don Thompson told analysts and investors that "based on recent sale trends, our results for the remainder of the year are expected to remain challenged." Surely that comment has played a role in the stock price's drop today.

Lastly, shares of Walt-Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) are down 0.8% today after a terrible accident at a Six Flags (NYSE: SIX  ) amusement park raised concerns about the industry. Last Friday a woman died after falling out of a rollercoaster at Six Flags in Arlington, Texas. The incident has sent fear throughout Wall Street that consumers may be less inclined to attend theme parks while the accident is fresh on Americans' minds. While the incident is serious and may hang over the theme park industry for a while, Disney shareholders shouldn't be too concerned with how it will affect the overall business. Disney has a number of units other than its theme parks, which will keep the business moving forward and healthy until consumers again continue traveling to the amusement parks.  

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