Day Ahead: Wall Street Shrugs It Off

 | Feb 26, 2014 | 8:59 AM EST  | Comments
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Growing evidence of a slowing U.S. housing market hasn't deterred Wall Street Wednesday morning as equities futures indicated a positive open.

January new-home sales are expected to fall to 400,000 on an annualized basis after December's 7% drop. The Census Bureau releases its data at 10 a.m. ET. Earlier, the Mortgage Bankers' Association said home-loan applications fell by 4% in the holiday-shortened week, to their lowest level in two decades. This follows key data Tuesday that showed a slowdown in home prices.

Retail earnings are the dominant theme this morning. Target (TGT) saw profit and sales fall in the fourth quarter as a result of the massive data breach that compromised millions of customer credit card accounts over the all-important holiday shopping season. Results were also pressured by the company's Canadian expansion. Still, the chain retailer addressed the potential of any future ripple effects, and net income beat estimates by $0.02 per share as sales met forecasts. Shares were rising before the bell.

Action Alerts PLUS holding TJX Cos. (TJX) missed earnings estimates by a penny per share. That pressured shares by about 2.5% in premarket trading.

Lowe's Cos. (LOW) said top- and bottom-line results were in line with expectations, and it provided a weak outlook. The home-improvement giant also upped its stock-repurchase program by $5 billion. Shares were higher in early trading on signs of sales growth.

Elsewhere, Dollar Tree (DLTR) missed EPS calls by $0.03 and issued disappointing guidance. Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) beat sales views and said it sees growth in certain Latin American markets. And Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) shares were up sharply in early trading after the teen retailer beat EPS estimates by a wide margin, despite disappointing sales figures.

After the close look for Baidu (BIDU), Infoblox (BLOX), J.C. Penney (JCP), TiVo (TIVO) and Transocean (RIG), among others.

Late Tuesday, DreamWorks Animation (DWA) missed top- and bottom-line consensus estimates, drawing shares down by nearly 12% in extended trading.

For Federal Reserve watchers, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren speaks at 12 p.m. ET, and Cleveland Fed chief Sandra Pianalto speaks at 7:30 p.m.

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