Housing construction jumped to pre-recession highs and gave homebuilders a boost on Tuesday. Hovnanian (HOV), Lennar Corp (LEN), D.R. Horton (DHI) and KB Home (KBH) were all trading higher by midday. Stocks were moving within a narrow range as better-than-expected earnings from Home Depot (HD) offset a disappointing quarter from Walmart (WMT). American Apparel (APP) looked to be teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. The retailer ended its recent quarter with just $11.2 million in cash. That’s less than an upcoming October debt repayment. TJX Companies (TJX), owner of chain TJ Maxx, jumped after beating estimates on its top- and bottom-line. Comparable-store sales rose 6%.
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