Shares fell on Tuesday as investors eased Home Depot's earnings from lower-than-expected earnings, mixed economic data, and testimony from the top Federal Reserve official. Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 33.97 points to 26,057.98, with Caterpillar and Home Depot down 0.1 percent to 2,793.49, after with losses in the industrial sector compensating for technology gains. The main indices alternate between gains and losses for most of the session.
Home Depot reports fourth-quarter earnings for the fourth quarter of $ 2.09 per share, below expected earnings of $ 2.1
Home Depot's results were followed by weaker-than-expected housing data. The department showed that housing starts declined by 11.2% in December and reached its lowest level since September 2016.
The data is old and "does not reflect enough time for users to respond to lower- low interest rates on mortgage loans, "said Peter Boocvar, Chief Investment Officer, Bleakley Advisory Group. "At the same time, MBA weekly data on purchases did not show a real leap in response to lower interest rates on mortgage loans."
House prices also rose in December at its slowest pace in August 2015, according to the S & P Case-Shiller index.
Strong levels of consumer confidence helped stocks to recover some of their losses. The conference council said the consumer confidence index rose to 131.4 in February, barely surpassing the estimate of 124. In January consumer confidence was 121.7.