This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Stocks End Lower on Tepid U.S. Data, Energy Sector Pullback


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks finished at session lows Tuesday following lackluster housing and consumer confidence data, and a pullback in the energy sector weighed down by natural gas stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 43.9 points, or 0.3%, at 13,198 and the S&P 500 fell 4 points, or 0.3%, at 1413, as the energy sector fell more than 1%. The Nasdaq was down 2.2 points, or 0.07%, at 3120, receiving some support from tech heavyweight Apple (AAPL).

Shares of the iPad and iPhone maker gained 1.2% as its chief executive officer Tim Cook arrived in China to meet with local officials, ahead of company's plans to ramp up investments in the world's most populous market.

The Conference Board said that its consumer confidence index pulled back slightly in March to a reading of 70.2. The level was slightly worse than the expected 70.4, and down from an upwardly revised 71.6 in February.

Earlier, the S&P Case-Shiller home price index showed that U.S. home prices fell 0.8% in January and 3.8% annually. Economists according to Thomson Reuters expected prices to inch higher by 0.2% during January, making for a drop of 3.7% compared to the same time last year.

The report followed of slew of recent data pointing to a still weak housing market. "Prices are bottoming but not necessarily turning upwards," wrote Dan Greenhaus, strategist with BTIG. "Historically, housing bubbles tend to see home prices on average bottom out six years after peaking. As such, if the United States were to suffer a decidedly average housing crash, this summer would mark the point at which prices should begin turning upwards on a sustained basis."









On Tuesday, Germany's DAX ended flat, while London's FTSE finished behind by 0.56%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng closed up 1.83% while the Nikkei Average in Japan finished higher by 2.36% overnight.

In corporate news, Oclaro (OCLR) agreed to acquire peer Opnext (OPXT) for stock. The deal calls for Oclaro to swap 0.42 of a share for each Opnext share. Opnext shares soared 53.1% to $1.73.

Eye care company Bausch & Lomb agreed to acquire Ista Pharmaceuticals (ISTA) for roughly $500 million in cash to expand its eye health portfolio. The acquisition price of $9.10 a share represents a 9% premium to Ista's closing price on Monday. Ista shares surged 7.9% to $9.04.

Apollo Group (APOL), the for-profit education company, trounced Wall Street's fiscal second-quarter expectations. Apollo reported earnings from continuing operations excluding items of $73.8 million, or 58 cents a share, for the three months ended Feb. 29 on revenue of $969.6 million. Analysts expected profit of 37 cents a share on revenue of $933.3 million. Apollo, the operator of the University of Phoenix, said new degreed enrollment rose 1% in the quarter from a year earlier. Shares lost 8.5% to $39.54.

Homebuilder Lennar (LEN) reported first-quarter earnings of $15 million, or 8 cents a share, down from $27.4 million, or 14 cents a share, a year earlier. Still, the company's per-share earnings beat the average estimate of 4 cents a share, according to a Thomson Reuters survey of analysts. Shares were up 4.7% to $27.63.

Walgreen (WAG) reported fiscal second-quarter earnings Tuesday of 78 cents a share on sales of $18.7 billion. Analysts were expecting profit of 77 cents a share on sales of $18.58 billion. The company said the effect of no longer being part of the Express Scripts (ESRX) pharmacy provider network as of Jan. 1, 2012, impacted earnings by 7 cents a share. Shares were up 1.3% to $34.80.

May oil futures closed higher by 30 cents at $107.33. In other commodities, April gold futures settled down 70 cents at $1,684.90 an ounce.

The dollar index was 0.2% higher. The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up 18/32, pushing the yield down to 2.186%.

-- Written by Chao Deng and Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Chao Deng.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to: @chao_deng

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Copyright 2011 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,001.22 -38.27 -0.22%
S&P 500 1,988.40 -3.97 -0.20%
NASDAQ 4,538.5510 +6.4470 0.14%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs