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.
Investors can expect a positive start to the stock market today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) has gained a modest 22 points in pre-market trading. After dipping to start the year, the Dow has now climbed to within 3% of the record it set on Dec. 31, while the broader S&P 500 could stroll into record territory today if it manages just a 0.2% gain.
Investors will get a fresh reading on the housing market at 10 a.m EST, as the government releases its monthly measure of new home sales. Economist expect the report to show a slight dip in the pace of sales to 400,000 units in January.
Lowe's this morning posted strong fourth-quarter earnings results and announced a new $5 billion share repurchase plan. The home improvement retailer's sales jumped by 6% to $11.7 billion, while earnings climbed by 11% to $0.29 a share. Both figures were on par with analysts' estimates. Lowe's also gave a forecast for 2014 that calls for another solid year: sales are expected to grow by 5%, about even with last year's 5.7% gain. The stock is up 3.7% in pre-market trading.
Target today booked fourth-quarter earnings of $0.81 a share, slightly ahead of the $0.79 that Wall Street expected. At $21.5 billion, revenue was equal to estimates and down roughly 4% from the year-ago period. Target performed better than expected in a few areas, including the Canadian market, which hurt profits less than anticipated in the quarter. Still, the data breach the big-box retailer suffered in December pushed sales comparable-store sales down by 2.5% in the U.S. Target's stock is up 1.3% in pre-market trading.
Finally, SodaStream today announced a 26% bounce in quarterly revenue to $168 million. However, profit fell to $0.03 a share from the $0.36 mark it hit in the year-ago period. As expected, the company saw profit hurt by holiday markdowns on its home beverage-carbonation machines. Still, SodaStream logged a 25% rise in carbon dioxide canister sales and a 32% increase in flavor sales, suggesting that usage trends remain strong. The company forecast a 15% rise in sales this year, even with Wall Street's expectations. The stock is down 1.9% in pre-market trading.
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