Strong Retail Sales May Save the Dow’s Winning Streak: The Home Depot, Inc. (HD), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ)

Some observers feared that higher payroll taxes in 2013 would hurt consumers, but new data released this morning should alleviate those worries. The Census Bureau posted retail sales numbers that rose 1.1%, beating economists’ expectations of 0.5% growth. While a good portion of the gain owes to higher gas prices, the report indicated that Americans are not cutting back on their homes or vehicles.

While consumer spending is on the rise, so too is the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is today: As of 12:55 p.m. EDT the index is up 13 points, or 0.09%. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) and the NASDAQ are up 0.14% and 0.12%, respectively.

The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD)Today’s Dow downers
One surprising loser today is The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD). Shares are down 0.11% despite the overall positive retail sales numbers. The Census Bureau’s report indicated that Americans spent more money at the home improvement stores in February than in January and that sales in this segment have increased on a year-over-year basis.

Shares of The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) are up more than 14% year to date and are currently just below their 52-week high. Today, it’s likely that investors are simply taking money off the table.

The Census Bureau also reported that electronics stores posted lower sales in February than in January. Among computer and software stores, sales figures aren’t available for February, but these stores performed worse in January than in previous months, on an adjusted basis. This may explain why shares of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) and software king Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are down slightly today.

Lastly, shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) are down 0.4% today. The stock is closing in on its 52-week high, and today’s pullback may be the result of technical traders cutting their positions now that the stock has hit this threshold.

Long-term investors should stay on course and ride out this minor downturn, because greater things are likely on the horizon for shareholders. Recently, rumors have begun flying that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) may be in talks to purchase the remaining 45% stake of Verizon Wireless from Vodafone. While this would load Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) with a massive amount of debt, it would also free the company to make strategic decisions that Vodafone might otherwise hinder or block. Additionally, some investors believe this would strengthen Verizon’s dividend over time.

The article Strong Retail Sales May Save the Dow’s Winning Streak originally appeared on Fool.com.

Check back Monday thru Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow’s winners and losers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter @mthalman5513. Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends Home Depot. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

The 10 Most Overrated Movies Of All Time by Out-of-Touch Critics

Top 6 Least Expensive Cruise Destinations For 2015 that Will Take You to Paradise

10 States with Lowest Substance Abuse Rates in America

The 14 Most Watched TV Finales Ever

The 10 Best Selling Role Playing Games of All Time for PC

10 Most Influential Papers In Economics

Top 8 Biggest Charities in the US

10 Worst Celebrity Career Moves Ever

Top 10 Best Paid Tennis Stars in the World

10 Cities with High Demand for Nurses

6 of the Worst Greeting Card Messages Ever Crafted

6 Ways to Make Money in ArcheAge and Build Your Empire

10 Foods To Eat To Lower Cholesterol Levels

The 10 Most Hated Television Characters of All Time

The 30 Worst Halloween Costume Ideas Ever Brought to Horrible Life

10 Vocational Skills in Demand Today with Jobs Waiting to be Filled

10 Best Places to Visit in Central and South America

The 10 Greatest Empires in History Which Nearly Conquered the World

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools In America 2015

5 Clear Reasons LoL is Better than DotA, Continues to Rule MOBAs

The Only 9 Teams with a Chance to Win the Super Bowl

The 15 Most Common Phobias in America that Induce Fits of Panic

Top 6 Least Expensive Tourist Destinations in 2014

Jim Goetz, Peter Fenton, Jim Breyer: Top 6 Venture Investors for 2014

Top 15 Billionaires in 2014

5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Buying a Franchise

Top 20 Medical Schools in the US – 2014 Rankings

4 Business Strategies that Turned Jamie Oliver into the World’s Richest Chef

6 Qualities That Make You A Good Team Player

10 High Paying Seasonal Jobs in America this Holiday Season

The 10 Busiest Shipping Lanes in the World

5 Most Valuable Brands in China

The 10 States with Highest Substance Abuse Rates Crippling Their Populace

The Top 10 Things to Do Before You Die That Will Echo for Eternity

The 10 Best Selling Items on Etsy

Top 10 Things to Do in Tokyo, the Greatest City in the World

10 Mistakes on Social Media that Can Harm You and Will Probably Get You Canned

The 10 Best Cities to Find Jobs in 2014

The 10 Most Controversial Songs Of All Time to Hit (and get Banned from) the Airwaves

The 20 Biggest IPOs in US History

The 10 Best Places to Visit in Mexico that Are Beautiful and Safe

7 Bad Habits that Age You Beyond Your Years

The 40 Best Fortune Cookie Sayings That Will Leave You Bemused, Befuddled, or Beguiled

10 Foods to Eat Before a Workout to Make Every Drop of Sweat Count

The 5 Best Documentaries On Netflix You Must See

The Most Heartwarming and Inspirational Story Of This Halloween Season, It Will Make You Cry and Jump For Joy

10 Best Party Songs of All Time to Bring the House Down With

5 New World Order Conspiracy Theories that Will Strangle the World

The 10 Highest Rated Movies of 2014

The 10 Largest Container Shipping Companies in the World

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!