Stock bulls find it difficult to push ahead

Tuesday's Data

Retail sales rose by 0.5% in October, which was just over the 0.4% increase analyst's were anticipating. Excluding autos, sales were up 0.6%. An increase of 0.2% had been expected. Meanwhile, the Producer Price Index declined 0.3% in October, which a 0.2% decline had been expected. The Core Producer Price Index was flat. Finally, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey improved from -8.5 to 0.6. The index futures were already pulling up off premarket lows when the data hit the wires, but the market extended those gains before striking resistance at Monday's lows and congestion from 4:10-5:30 a.m. ET, leaving the futures still in negative territory 30 minutes prior to the open.

Even though earnings season starts to wind down this week, some name to watch for are the retailers. So far they are mixed. Home Depot (HD) beat expectations in premarket trade, while Wal-Mart (WMT) missed. Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) report Wednesday, while Gap (GPS) reports Thursday, and Ann (Taylor) (ANN) reports on Friday.

S&P 500 (Figure 2)

Index Wrap-up

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) ended the day on Monday with a loss of 74.70 points, or 0.61%, and closed at 12,078.98. Out of the Dow's index's thirty components, only posted a gain. The top performers were Boeing (BA) (+1.52%), Home Depot (HD) (+0.50%), and Caterpillar (CAT) (+0.42%). The financials were the weakest. Bank of America (BAC) fell 2.58%, while JP Morgan (JPM) fell 2.19%.

The S&P 500 ($SPX) finished the session with a loss of 12.07 points, or 0.95%, and closed at 1,251.78. The strongest individual percentage performers in the index were Salesforce.com (CRM) (+2.81%), Avery Dennison Corp. (AVY) (+1.96%), and Tiffany & Co. (TIF) (+1.80%). None of the index's industry groups managed to post a gain. The weakest sectors were financials (-2%), energy (-1.2%), and the utilities (-1.2%). The weakest individual stocks were QEP Res. Inc. (QEP) (-7.59%), Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK) (-4.46%), and Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) (-3.85%).

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