After Market: Winter's Wrath Takes a Toll on Stocks

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Stocks took a bit of a breather Tuesday on new evidence the harsh winter weather has been taking a toll on the economy. Mother Nature's latest casualty: the housing sector. A new report on homebuilding shows that confidence fell sharply in February, and the weather was to blame. Manufacturing activity in the New York region was also hurt by the frigid temperatures in February.

After posting the strongest week in a year, stocks ended the day mixed. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 24 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 2, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 29 points.

Coca-Cola (KO) was the biggest drag among the blue chips. Its fourth quarter profit fell and revenue was below consensus. The stock fizzled 3.8 percent.

Another big loser on the day was 1-800-Flowers.com (FLWS). It too can blame Mother Nature. The cold weather in the Northeast botched many of its Valentine's Day deliveries. There was no love for the stock that fell 6 percent.

Some merger and acquisition news heated things up. Actavis (ACT) wants to buy Forest Laboratories (FRX) for $25 billion. Actavis shares were up 5 percent while Forest Labs gained more than 27 percent. The announcement gave a boost to activist investor Carl Icahn, a major shareholder in Forest Labs.

And a report emerged that Tesla's Elon Musk met with Apple's head of mergers and acquisitions last year increasing speculation Apple (AAPL) may be eyeing Tesla Motors (TSLA). Shares in the electric carmaker hit an all-time high closing at $203.70 a share. The stock has been on a tear over the past year: It's up a whopping 417 percent.

Shares of Blackberry (BBRY) also rose more than 5 percent. Hedge fund honcho Dan Loeb revealed he has a $10 million stake in the company.

Several companies benefited from some upgrades. Lululemon Athletica (LULU) gained almost 1 percent on a thumbs up from Oppenheimer.

Mattressmaker Tempur Sealy International (TPX) got a small bounce of less than 1 percent on a Piper Jaffray (PJC) upgrade. And Big Lots (BIG) also rallied nearly 2 percent on an upgrade.

Earnings were mainly disappointing:

Waste Management (WM), 4.5 and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) both traded lower by about 4½ percent on the back of their results, and Medtronic (MDT) dropped more than 1 percent

And lastly, binge viewing still seems to be working for Netflix. On the first trading day since the premiere of season 2 of "House of Cards," Netflix (NFLX) shares closed marginally higher.

What to Watch Wednesday:
  • At 8:30 a.m. Eastern time the Commerce Department reports housing starts for January, and the Labor Department reports producer prices for January.
  • The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its January policy-setting meeting at 2 p.m.
These major companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial statements:
  • Denny's (DENN)
  • Jack in the Box (JACK)
  • Marriott (MAR)
  • Safeway (SWY)
  • Six Flags (SIX)
  • Tesla Motors (TSLA)
  • Williams Cos. (WMB)


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6 Comments

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rence_reboredo

Don't make the same mistake I did and try to trade the Forex market that is a losing market for sure. Go to the website Bionic Traders, that's where I went now I'm trading the futures market which is so much better than the Forex. Trading the futures I've not had a losing week yet and I'm getting better and better at it.

February 25 2014 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scottee

George Soros Bet $1.3 Billion The Stock Market Will Fall
isn't he the 1%
isn't he the buy who bankrolls the president and his party?

February 19 2014 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jwmgrand

The MASSIVE floods have not even started yet .in ..... IOWA and the Midwest ...... we have way to much snow and ice on the ground and we are rapidly approaching the March Tornado season ....which will bring significant rain ....many rivers will overflow their banks ... they better get the National Guard on alert ...

February 18 2014 at 8:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

It also says on here that the shipment of snow melting rock salt for New Jersey is stuck and NJ is going to run outta salt.
You tell me where the salt has to go. I'll get them some salt .

February 18 2014 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

Also on here it says George Soros is investing $1.3 billion in the stock market.
So it goes up and he makes another billion. What is the point ? Nothing will change.
The most expensive house I can buy is 100 million. After you have a billion there's not much left for you to buy and you become technology limited and you have to wait for someone to invent something you don't already own. I can't wait and is why I have a laboratory same as Steve Jobs had. What am I working on now ? A new 3D dental printer that scans all of your teeth then if any get damaged, your dentist will simply print a new one from the computer memory even when you get as up there in years as George Soros.

February 18 2014 at 7:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
thefacts22

In my opinion we are slowly sliding into a collapse...no wonder G Soros is betting against the dollar and our economy

February 18 2014 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

Evan is such a hypocrite. He posted here earlier that liberals should be allowed to collect Social Security but not conservatives. No wonder he wants a dictator for president.

February 18 2014 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply