Stock Market News 02-23-10
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Consumer & Investor Confidence play alongside regular same-store sales data to swing the stock market news flow on Tuesday.

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Stock Market News

stock market news businessTuesday's stock market news slate offers three economic data points in the pre-market and another two after the open of stock market trading. The news wire also includes some more Fed speak, and two more investor conferences kick off activities today, following a similarly busy Monday.

ICSC Same-Store Sales

Tuesday brings news for the week ending on February 20. Weather driven weakness plagued same-store sales in the week ending on February 13. The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) noted sales fell a drastic 1.6% from the prior period. When compared against the nearly dead activity of the prior year period, sales fell just 0.7%. The ICSC sees February sales rising about 2%. We do not follow the Redbook sales data, which will also be released in the early AM, as it is a lesser metric, in our view. However, it usually coincides with other sales metrics, including this one. That said, last week's data differed from the ICSC trend, with Redbook's year-to-year sales change showing a 1.8% improvement for the February 13 period.

Case Shiller Home Price Index

Case Shiller's three-month lagged home price data is due for release at 9:00 AM. You can usually catch Professor Robert Shiller on Bloomberg Radio just after the release.

January's report for the month of November 2009 showed mixed results, with November marking the tenth month of year-on-year improvement. On a monthly basis, the rate of price decline eased further, to -4.5% and -5.3% for the 10-City and 20-City Composites, respectively. However, four large markets posted new index lows in November; those included Charlotte, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa.

The First-Time Homebuyers Tax Credit delay, and later extension and expansion, played havoc with home sales last fall and continues to skew results even now. It seems likely to us that the rush to enter into contracts ahead of the deadline helped the pricing environment in September and hurt pricing as demand slackened through the end of the year (including November). Still, several important markets posted annual price increase in November (for the first time in a long while); those included Dallas, Denver, San Francisco and San Diego. Mixed data indeed...

Consumer Confidence

The Conference Board reports on Consumer Confidence at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Based on already released data from similar metrics, the economists' consensus is predicting a decline in this February reporting of consumer confidence, to 55.0, from 55.9 in January. Unemployment is about as high as ever, and a cloud of hopelessness seems to overhang Congress, souring consumer sentiment and damaging the President's approval rating as well. Congress' approval rating could not get much lower.

Investor Confidence

State Street (NYSE: STT) reports on Investor Confidence at 10:00 a.m. The financial firm's January check showed the index gained a bit, to 104.5, from 104.3 in December. North American investors exhibited the most confidence, with the region's index improving 4.4 points, to 107.9. Asia was nearly unchanged at last check, while Europe fell 5.6 points to 98.9... It's clear why...

There's no forecast available for this data, but based on stock price trend, we would not look for a drastic softening of investor confidence in the US. However, the overall metric might not match an American gain, given European woes and recent economic braking in China.

Fed Speak

At 5:00 p.m., look for St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard to give a speech on regulatory reform. Mr. Bullard will be addressing the Chartered Financial Analysts Virginia Society.

Conference Season

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE: BAC) Insurance Conference kicks off in NYC, and it will run through Wednesday. In San Francisco, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) launches its Technology and Internet Conference. It will run through Thursday, and headlines presentations from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO).

Earnings Reports

Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR) has its analyst day get-together Tuesday. The day's earnings schedule includes data from Acorda Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ACOR), American Reprographics (NYSE: ARP), Astec Industries (Nasdaq: ASTE), AXT Inc. (Nasdaq: AXTI), Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), BGC Partners (Nasdaq: BGCP), Bill Barrett Corp. (NYSE: BBG), Blue Coat Systems (Nasdaq: BCSI), CDI Corp. (NYSE: CDI), Century Aluminum (Nasdaq: CENX), Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB), Cobra Electronics (Nasdaq: COBR), Cracker Barrel (Nasdaq: CBRL), DealerTrack Holdings (Nasdaq: TRAK), Homex Development (NYSE: HXM), Dorman Products (Nasdaq: DORM), DreamWorks Animation (NYSE: DWA), Ducommun (NYSE: DCO), Education Realty Trust (NYSE: EDR), El Paso Electric (NYSE: EE), EPIQ Systems (Nasdaq: EPIQ), Expeditors Int'l (Nasdaq: EXPD), Federal-Mogul (Nasdaq: FDML), Franklin Street Properties (AMEX: FSP), GrafTech Int'l (NYSE: GTI), Graphic Packaging (NYSE: GPK), Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (Nasdaq: GLDD), Healthsouth (NYSE: HLS), Herbalife (NYSE: HLF), Home Depot (NYSE: HD), IdaCorp (NYSE: IDA), Interactive Data (NYSE: IDC), Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW), Macy's (NYSE: M), Medco Health Solutions (NYSE: MHS), MHI Hospitality (Nasdaq: MDH), Office Depot (NYSE: ODP), Orient-Express Hotels (NYSE: OEH), Ormat Technologies (NYSE: ORA), Papa John's Pizza (Nasdaq: PZZA), Pepco Holdings (NYSE: POM), PNM Resources (NYSE: PNM), PT Indosat (NYSE: IIT), Range Resources (NYSE: RRC), RRI Energy (NYSE: RRI), Saul Centers (NYSE: BFS), Shengda Tech (Nasdaq: SDTH), Startek (NYSE: SRT), Stone Energy (NYSE: SGY), Talecris Biotherapeutics (Nasdaq: TLCR), Tanger Factory Outlet (NYSE: SKT), Target (NYSE: TGT), Telvent (Nasdaq: TLVT), Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC), Ternium (NYSE: TX), The Hackett Group (Nasdaq: HCKT), St. Joe Co. (NYSE: JOE), TIM Participacoes S.A. (NYSE: TSU), TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP), Unit Corp. (NYSE: UNT), Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO), Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: WPI), Weight Watchers (NYSE: WTW) and Weyco Group (Nasdaq: WEYS).

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