Stocks ended little changed as a deal between Sears and Amazon weighed on home improvement retailers while gains in Microsoft helped buoy the Nasdaq. Roselle Chen reports.
After the close, Microsoft reported a quarterly profit that more than doubled and beat Wall Street expectations. The stock went up. . During the day, U.S. stocks traded at a narrow range. Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial (SOUNDBITE) PETER CARDILLO, CHIEF MARKET ECONOMIST, FIRST STANDARD FINANCIAL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The market is consolidating, and it's, basically, range-bound, with a slightly positive trend, and, so, that means that we probably are gonna see new highs along the way and that's based on the good earnings season." Shares of Home Depot, Lowe's, Whirlpool, and Home Depot got slammed after Sears said it's starting to sell Kenmore appliances on Amazon. Amazon stock was up slightly, and Sears skyrocketed. Qualcomm fell after the chipmaker's forecast missed estimates. Economic data showed weekly jobless claims fell to a five-month low. Claims fell to 233,000, below the 245,000 expected by economists polled by Reuters. In Europe, stocks ended mixed.