The major domestic equity indexes ended the trading day on Tuesday with little change as declines in Home Depot and other retailers offset upbeat national retail sales data.
Home Depot ended the trading day down 2.7 percent and was the largest drag for both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average. Although the company reported strong earnings and raised its forecast, there was a question regarding supply constraints in the housing market that could be damaging to future earnings. Shares of Lowe’s were down 4.4 percent.
The S&P 500 consumer discretionary index down 0.9 percent, also took a hit from a shar decline in the shares of Coach and Advance Auto Parts after disappointing results. The S&P 500 retail index ended the day down 1.6 percent.
At the same time, retail sales on a national basis recorded their largest increase in seven months during July, as consumers increased purchases of motor vehicles as well as discretionary spending.
The markets have rebounded in the last two sessions after a standoff between the United States and North Korea showed signs of easing.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has delayed a decision on firing missiles toward Guam while he waits to see what the United States does, the North’s state media reported.
Investors also weighed the likelihood of whether tax reform will happen this year. The failure of Republicans to push through a health care bill has dented optimism about other White House initiatives.
The top tax law writer in the House of Representatives insisted that tax reform will happen this year, but others were less confident.
Shares of General Electric fell 0.9 percent hitting an intraday low of $25.10, their lowest point since October 2015. A late Monday quarterly report from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway indicated it had sold off its investment in GE.
The day’s trading volume was among the lowest of the year, with approximately 5.3 billion shares changing hands on the major domestic equity exchanges. That compares with the 6.3 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.