The major indices have pulled back over the past couple of trading days, due to mixed economic data and weak earnings results from several large retailers.
This is certainly of interest to investors, and we wanted to offer our take on the action. In addition, we've added another two stocks to TheStreet.com Stocks Under $10 Watch List this week. Much of this article went out to subscribers of Stocks Under $10 Tuesday morning. ( Click here for a free trial to receive all of our alerts.)
Tuesday morning, the Labor Department reported that April producer prices at the core rate (which excludes food and energy) rose 0.4% -- double what economists had forecast. Outside of food and energy, inflation on the wholesale level rose by 3% year over year, which is the largest increase in 17 years.
Although the bulls have put a positive spin on otherwise weak economic data over the past month -- including fewer-than-expected job losses and better-than- expected consumer data that suggested a decline in energy prices due to a seasonal effect -- it's difficult to find anything encouraging in this report. And therein lies the cause behind the 199-point loss in the Dow Jones index yesterday.Adding to the pessimism, Home Depot (HD - Get Report) reported earnings that topped estimates, but management said, "The housing and home improvement markets remained difficult in the first quarter and conditions worsened in many areas of the country." That outlook was similar to Lowe's (LOW - Get Report) -- which reported Monday -- given that the company also warned of tougher conditions ahead while posting a same-store sales drop of 8.4%.