Summary: Apple helped drive the Nasdaq to a new 14-year high; housing data and strong earnings from Home Depot lift U.S. markets; inflation remains in check. Bobbi Rebell reports.
U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, after better-than-expected earnings from Home Depot and encouraging economic data on inflation and the housing market. The Dow, the S&P 500 , and the Nasdaq each tacking on about half a percent. Apple returned to the triple-digit zone, hitting $100 for the first time since its seven-for-one stock split in June, and giving the iPad and iPhone maker a market capitalization that topped $600 billion. But the biggest boost to the Dow and the S&P 500 came from Home Depot- hitting an all-time high. The world's largest home improvement chain reported earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street forecasts and raised full-year profit outlook-pointing to strength in the housing sector. In fact there was more good news on that front- July Housing starts rebounded -posting their strongest showing in eight months . But some were not impressed. Robert Brusca of Fact & Opinion Economics. (SOUNDBITE) ROBERT BRUSCA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, FACT & OPINION ECONOMICS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I look at it this as kind of a moderate report. It's strong looking on the month, but its a bounce back from previously weak numbers. It really doesn't change anything about housing. I still think housing is struggling." But all that positive housing data pushed home related stocks higher. A separate report showed, U.S. consumer prices barely rose in July, with falling energy costs partially offsetting hikes in food and rents. That could mean the Fed will keep interest rates low for a while. In earnings... TJX, the parent of discount stores TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods, said its second quarter earnings soared on a pick-up in sales. TJX leading retail stocks, with Urban Outfitters and Dick's Sporting Goods also advancing after their respective results. Even celebrities can't help Elizabeth Arden with its biggest quarterly loss in the company's history on plunging sales of superstar perfumes, particularly Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift brands. European shares extended the previous session's rally on Tuesday, with Germany's DAX index outperforming, driven by what traders saw as an easing of the Ukraine crisis.