Why the Market Can't Make up Its Mind Today

Blue-chip stocks are mixed in intraday trading following the release of disappointing housing data and downbeat quarterly results from McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) . With roughly an hour left in the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is up a negligible two points, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) is up by 0.2%.

The National Association of Realtors announced this morning that sales of previously occupied homes fell by 1.1% in June compared to May. On the flip side, the good news is that they were up by a double-digit percentage compared to the same month last year.

As NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun noted: "Affordability conditions remain favorable in most of the country, and we're still dealing with a large pent-up demand. However, higher mortgage interest rates will bite into high-cost regions of California, Hawaii and the New York City metro area market."

Fast-food giant McDonald's further fueled pessimism by reporting lackluster financial results for the three months ended June 30. While the company increased its revenue and earnings on a year-over-year basis, the market's reaction to the results shows that investors were more concerned with its 0.2% decline in June same-store sales -- for the quarter overall, the worldwide figure rose by a mere 1%.

Shares of McDonald's are down by 2.5% at the time of writing, making it the worst-performing component on the Dow this afternoon.

On the other end of the spectrum, shares of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) are up by 1.6%, qualifying it for the day's best performance. Analysts at Wells Fargo said that fears over the company's exposure to the dying personal-computer industry are overdone, noting that the segment accounts for less than 10% of HP's net earnings. The megabank also noted that it expects HP's operating profit to pick up over the next fiscal year.

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