A day after the Nasdaq hit the 5,000 mark, stocks took a breather Tuesday. Wicked weather slows auto sales. Target to cut jobs. Jeanne Yurman reports.
Investors exercising some caution Tuesday one day after the Nasdaq hit the 5,000 mark for only the third time in history. Stocks were lower across the board. The Dow and the S&P 500 backing off record levels. The brutal weather in February deterred many Americans from shopping for cars. U.S. auto sales last month fell short of bullish forecasts. Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at Edmunds.com. (SOUNDBITE) JESSICA CALDWELL, SENIOR ANALYST, EDMUNDS.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think, February started off pretty strong. It started to dip towards the end of the month, which, I think, caused some of the expectations to be a bit high. So, I think, weather was a big factor, and it also didn't look like interest rates had been in previous months so that could suggest that the deals weren't as good." Ford Motor's stock fell, given a two percent slide in February sales. Electronics retailer Best Buy, which has been battling Wal-Mart and online rivals, posted a higher quarterly profit, announced a special dividend and said it would resume share buybacks. Shares moved higher. New store openings gave a boost to AutoZone's top and bottom line numbers for the second quarter. Shares closing higher. While Kate Spade & Co. lost ground after the upscale clothing and accessories maker reported a quarterly profit that missed analysts' targets. Target plans to cut several thousand jobs, mainly at headquarters locations, as part of a plan to save more than $2 billion in costs over two years. And in deal news, Citigroup is selling its consumer finance unit OneMain Financial Holdings to subprime lender Springleaf Holdings Inc in an all-cash deal for $4.25 billion. Springleaf surged to an all-time high. Overseas European markets slipped off multi-year highs on Tuesday, led by pullbacks in French environment company Veolia and British bank Barclays.