Diamonds and Dogs
Home Depot (HD) one of the few Dow components trading higher. Home Depot easily beat earnings estimates as revenues rose 7.5% year over year to $23.88 billion. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 were positive up 7.5%. The home retailer gave in line guidance for the current year while also increasing quarterly dividend to $1.03/share from $0.89/share. Mortgage rates are climbing, and costs for labor and materials continue to pressure homebuilders' margins, but Home Depot is seeing demand from millennials finally shifting to homeownership and away from rentals.
Walmart (WMT) dragging down the Dow and the major averages following earnings. Retail behemoth reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and posted a sharp drop in online sales growth during the critical holiday period, sending its shares slumping more than 6 percent in premarket trade. The retailer said much of the online slowdown was planned as it continued to invest in growing the business but also cited operational problems around inventory replenishment that hurt sales growth. Others would blame the main culprit, Amazon.