Stocks initially bounced back from yesterday's drubbing on Tuesday morning, but a big drop in oil prices took a toll on the market, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) slumped in afternoon trading.
Today's stock market
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Crude oil fell almost 8% to $55, its lowest price since last November, causing the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF (NYSEMKT:XES) to tumble 3.8%. News of renewed trade discussions between China and the U.S. lifted Chinese stocks; the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEMKT:FXI) closed up 2%.
Amazon unveils HQ2 plans
Shares of Amazon slipped 0.4% after the online retail giant announced the results of its search for a location for its new headquarters, saying that HQ2 will be split between Arlington, Virginia, and New York City. Amazon will invest $5 billion and create more than 25,000 jobs in each location, receiving over $2.1 billion in tax credits and incentives in return.
The Arlington location is across the Potomac River from downtown Washington, D.C., and the New York location is in Long Island City, across the East River from Midtown Manhattan. Amazon said that it was splitting its second headquarters to facilitate the recruitment of talent. The company will also be building a new operations center in Nashville, Tennessee, where it will hire an additional 5,000 full-time employees.
The market's muted response to the previously leaked news belies the savvy Amazon showed in conducting a heavily publicized competition for HQ2, winning substantial tax benefits and promising to create jobs and economic growth near two huge centers of political and financial influence.
Home Depot sees strong consumer spending
Home Depot reported a strong third quarter and raised its outlook for the year, but shares fell 0.2%. Revenue grew 5.1% to $26.3 billion, about what analysts were expecting, and earnings per share increased 36% to $2.51, above the consensus estimate of $2.26.
Comparable-sales growth was 4.8%, with 5.4% growth in the U.S, and online sales surged 28%. Looking forward, Home Depot raised its full-year sales growth outlook from 7% to 7.2% and increased its comparable-sales growth estimate 20 basis points to 5.5%. Guidance for earnings per share was lifted from $9.42 to $9.75.
Despite the guidance raise, the company's outlook for Q4 sales fell a little short of the consensus analyst estimate, which may have dampened investor reaction to the quarter. But Home Depot executives on the conference call expressed optimism for a "solid" home improvement market despite pressure on home building, which is welcome news to investors.