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

Best States To Practice Medicine

The 10 Best States to Have a Business

The 12 Most Expensive Apple (AAPL) Apps in the Market

The 10 Richest Billionaires in the World

10 Biggest Kickstarter Failures

The 10 Best Places to Work At

The Top 10 of Google Inc (GOOGL)’s Most Expensive Acquisitions

13 Best Cities to Visit in South America

10 Most Expensive Works of Art of All Time

The 10 Richest Banks in the World

The 10 Best-Paying Jobs in America (2014)

7 Most Expensive Foods in the World

The World’s Top 10 Earning Authors

Five Wicked and Very Expensive Items (and Other “Stuff”) Sold on eBay

10 Biggest Celebrity Bankruptcies

The Top 10 Highest Paid CEOs in 2014

The 10 Most Expensive Real Estate Cities in America

10 Most Expensive States To Live In America

The 10 Best Airlines in the World

The 10 Best-Selling Cars in 2014

The 10 Best Industries to Invest In

The 10 Most Expensive States to Own a Car In

Top 10 Business Schools in US: 2014 Rankings

Top 20 Female Billionaires in 2014

6 Movies That You Should Watch to Better Understand The Cold War

Top 15 Best Paying Jobs for Women in 2014

Top 6 Things Rich People Do Differently Every Day

5 Retirement Mistakes To Avoid (and Einstein’s Famous Quote)

11 Smartest People in the World

6 Films About the Financial World You Need To Watch (While “The Wolf” is Not Around)

Warren Buffett and Billionaires Are Crazy About These 7 Stocks

The Top 10 States With Fastest Internet Speeds

10 Best Places to Visit in USA in August

Top 10 Cities to Visit Before You Die

Top 10 Genetically Modified Food In the US

15 Highest Grossing Movies Opening Weekend

5 Best Poker Books For Beginners

10 Strategies Hedge Funds Use to Make Huge Returns

Top 10 Fast Food Franchises to Buy

10 Best Places to Visit in Canada

Best Summer Jobs for Teachers

10 Youngest Hedge Fund Billionaires

Top 10 One Hit Wonders of the 90s

Fastest Growing Cities In America

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Freelancers

Top 9 Most Popular Free iPhone Apps

Top 10 Least Expensive Private Business Schools in the US

Top 15 Most Expensive Countries in the World – 2014

Top 6 Tax Scams and How to Protect Yourself

Top Businesses to Invest In

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!