The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) broke its six-day win streak on Monday, though today's losses were hardly emphatic. Even the six-day rally somehow lacked excitement, as most of the intraday advances were small and came on light volume. Wall Street's seen subdued trading activity since early spring, when hedge fund managers abandoned their posts en masse, suddenly realizing there were things in the world far more beautiful than dollars and cents.
Just kidding. One can always dream.
The Dow lost 9 points, or less than 0.1%, to end at 16,937 today.
Home Depot (NYSE:HD) finished as one of the day's top blue-chip performers, adding 0.6%. Home Depot shareholders had every right to be excited today, as existing home sales in May charged higher for a second straight month, easily topping Econoday consensus estimates. Existing home sales rose nearly 5% from April to an annualized rate of 4.89 million. The April and May months marked the first back-to-back gains since April and May of 2013, highlighting the housing market's seasonal nature. 'Tis the season for the housing market, that's for sure!
Shares of J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) lost ground on Monday, shedding 3.4% after the company announced a new, $2.35 billion credit facility, $1.85 billion of which will be a revolving line of credit; the other $500 million will consist of a term loan. The new financing deal replaces a $1.85 billion credit facility at a higher interest rate that would've matured in April 2016. Personally, I don't see why investors reacted so harshly to the news, which should bring down J.C. Penney's cost of capital and increase its liquidity as it uses a newer, more favorable loan to pay back higher-interest debt it accrued under the old agreement.
Finally, shares of 500.com Limited (NYSE:WBAI) soared 7.7% today. 500.com is a China-based online lottery service provider that essentially allows customers to buy lottery tickets and wager on sports events. If this sounds like a risky business, it is: the company freely admitted in its annual 20-K report that "the rules and regulations on online lottery sales service market in China are relatively new and subject to interpretation, and their implementation involves uncertainty." In other words, caveat emptor. Investing in 500.com is a bit like buying a lottery ticket itself: there are chance forces (the Chinese government) at work that an investor cannot see until the numbers have been drawn.