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Midday Market Update

Stocks Higher; Earnings in Focus

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U.S. Market    
Stocks were moving upward at midday as investors focused on corporate earnings and other announcements. 

Economic news flow was slow Tuesday morning, but the International Council of Shopping Centers and Redbook Research each reported increases in weekly retail sales. 

The Dow was 0.3% higher at midday. The S&P 500 had gained 0.2%, and the Nasdaq was up by 0.1%. 

Stocks on the Move
Electronics retailer  Best Buy (BBY) posted a first-quarter loss of $0.24 per share compared with last year's profit of $0.46 per share. Core earnings were positive at $0.32 per share but were still down by $0.40 from the same time last year. Total revenue also dropped by nearly 10%. Best Buy saw improvement in online sales, but same-store sales slid during the quarter.  Morningstar analysts say Best Buy is in a better place now compared with last year, but they note the ongoing competitive pressures. Shares had lost 4.5% by midday. 

 Home Depot (HD) reported an 18% year-over-year gain in first-quarter earnings of $1.22 billion compared with $1.04 billion from the same time last year. Total revenue improved by 7.4% to $19.1 billion, and both readings exceeded expectations. The firm benefited from an improving housing market and also rebuilding efforts on the East Coast. Shares were up by 2.4% at midday. 

 AutoZone (AZO) shares had jumped by 4.5% at midday after the firm's third-quarter results were nearly in line with Wall Street expectations, despite a drop in same-store sales.  Morningstar analysts remain positive on AutoZone's long-term prospects.

 TJX Companies (TJX) reported an 8% increase in first-quarter earnings on the back of a 6.8% gain in revenue. Both readings were in line with Street expectations.  Morningstar analysts see the stock as overvalued despite the improvement in the quarter. Shares were up by 0.4% at midday. 

 J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) shares were up by 2.3% at midday on reports that CEO Jamie Dimon would likely retain his posts as both CEO and chairman of the firm, following a shareholder vote. There has been widespread speculation that shareholders would vote to split the two roles. 

Foreign Markets
Stocks in Asia were mixed Tuesday, with the Shanghai Composite and the Nikkei 225 rising 0.2% and 0.1%, and the Hang Seng falling 0.5%. 

In Europe, the FTSE 100 rose 0.7%, the Paris CAC gained 0.3%, and the DAX increased by 0.2%.

Kevin O'Shaughnessy does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.