Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Conn's and Home Depot Shine As Home Sales Come Back to Life

The stock market woke up on the wrong side of the bed Thursday, selling off after last week's jobless claims data painted an unflattering picture of the economy. Just hours later, however, investors sent stocks back to breakeven territory, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) managed to tread water for the remainder of the day. Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) finished as the best blue chip performer today, while consumer goods retailer Conn's (NASDAQ: CONN  ) and molecular diagnostic company Myriad Genetics (NASDAQ: MYGN  ) ended as some of Wall Street's biggest movers. The Dow, for its part, tacked on 10 points, or 0.1%, to end at 16,543.

Home Depot added 0.9% Thursday as investors breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing existing home sales edge higher in April. It was only the second such increase in the last nine months, and existing home sales last month were still nearly 7% lower than they were in April of last year. Few companies in the world have more skin in the U.S. real estate game than the $107 billion Home Depot, so it's reassuring from an investor's standpoint to see transactions picking up again. Of course, Home Depot isn't the only company in the business of home improvement, and whether or not it has the upper hand on Lowe's is another question entirely.

Specialty retailer Conn's is a somewhat more indirect beneficiary of a robust real estate market, and its shares rocketed 5.7% higher today. Conn's, worth $1.6 billion by Wall Street's estimations, is a far cry from Home Depot's 12-digit market cap, making the stock much more volatile and risky than any of the Dow components -- something evidenced in the stock's precipitous 41% post-earnings plunge in February. But with great risk comes great potential for reward, and hedge fund icon David Einhorn even initiated a position in the company recently. Conn's is constantly tweaking its product mix to keep with the times, and recently got Tempur-Pedic Mattresses into all its locations; it might be worth taking a look at it if the real estate market keeps chugging along, so don't sleep on it!

Source: Myriad Genetics

Lastly, Myriad Genetics stock took a pounding on Wall Street today, slumping 4.8%. Sometimes -- and as you probably know from your own experience -- stocks can make big moves for little or no good reason. This was certainly the case with Myriad Genetics today, which has now lost more than 10% in three days, a sell-off seemingly triggered by what was actually good news. Myriad's Prolaris test, used to give the mortality risk for prostate cancer, now has data (as of Tuesday) showing that Prolaris was effective and able to do what it claimed. Despite this groundbreaking new medical technology, short interest in the stock has rarely been higher. At the end of April it would've taken shorts 25 days to cover their positions, an astronomical difference from the 3 days it would've taken them just a year ago.

Big banking's little $20.8 trillion secret
There's a brand-new company that's revolutionizing banking, and is poised to kill the hated traditional brick-and-mortar banks. That's bad for them, but great for investors. And amazingly, despite its rapid growth, this company is still flying under Wall Street's radar. To learn about about this company, click here to access our new special free report.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2969309, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/2/2015 1:12:50 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

John Divine

Fool since 2012, unique fingerprints since birth. Age 7: Put lifetime savings ($18.37!) in the bank, became disillusioned with low interest, and a fascination with the stock market was born.

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,238.47 180.12 1.12%
S&P 500 1,933.17 19.32 1.01%
NASD 4,691.38 55.27 1.19%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/2/2015 12:57 PM
^DJI $16252.23 Up +193.88 +1.21%
CONN $27.62 Down -0.61 -2.16%
Conn's, Inc. CAPS Rating: **
HD $115.69 Up +2.62 +2.32%
Home Depot CAPS Rating: ****
MYGN $38.00 Up +1.35 +3.68%
Myriad Genetics CAPS Rating: ***