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Market Preview: Hating the Rally

"We believe the market fairly reflects the fact that HD continues to outperform on the sales and EBIT [earnings before interest and taxes] lines and the greater likelihood of downside risk at LOW," Jefferies said, adding later: "Expecting HD to outperform LOW. Based on our checks, we believe Home Depot's 2Q results will continue to outperform Lowe's, despite both likely slowing sequentially against more challenging comparisons and a pull forward of demand in 1Q."

That said, as reflected by the firm's hold ratings on both stocks, Jefferies thinks the overall market environment is a headwind.

"Our checks on home improvement retail throughout the quarter indicate softer comp store sales, particularly in June, driven by: 1) the weather-related pull forward of demand in 1Q; 2) more challenging comparisons; 3) extreme temperatures/drought that reduced demand for lawn & garden products in some parts of the country; and 4) continued sluggishness in big ticket items," Jefferies said. "Vendors sound a bit more cautious on DIY [do-it-yourself]. Building materials vendors have been putting up good numbers this earnings season, but a lot of this has been attributable to improvements in new home construction. Many of these supplier comments have been more cautious around the DIY business."

The firm is in-line with consensus, expecting earnings of 97 cents a shares from Home Deport in the quarter with same-store sales seen up 2%, and it has a $48 price target on the stock, implying potential downside of more than 9% from current levels.

Check out TheStreet's quote page for Home Depot for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more.

Other early reporters included AGCO Corp. (AG), Cache (CACH), Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), Estee Lauder (EL), Flowers Foods (FLS), Michael Kors Holdings (KORS), Millipore (MIL), National Semiconductor (NSM), Plug Power (PLUG), Saks (SKS), TJX Cos. (TJX), and Valspar (VAL).

The after-the-bell crew includes Bob Evans Farms (BOBE), Crown Crafts (CRWS), DayStar Technologies (DSTI), JDS Uniphase (JDSU), KongZhong (KONG), andLifeway Foods (LWAY).

Tuesday's economic calendar includes the National Federation of Independent Business small-business survey for July at 7:30 a.m. ET; retail sales for July at 8:30 a.m. ET; the producer price index for July at 8:30 a.m. ET; and business inventories for June at 10 a.m. ET.

And finally, Groupon (GRPN) shares were tanking in late trades after the online daily deals company beat Wall Street's profit view for the latest quarter but revenue came in light.

The Chicago-based company posted non-GAAP earnings of $53.8 million, or 8 cents a share, for the three months ended June 30 on revenue of $568.3 million. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for a profit of 3 cents a share in the quarter on revenue of $573.1 million. Groupon sees revenue ranging from $580 million to $620 million in the third quarter.

In addition, gross billings declined on a sequential basis, falling to $1.29 billion in the second quarter from $1.35 billion in the first quarter. The stock, which went public in November 2011 at $20 per, was last quoted at $6.15, down 18.5%, on after-hours volume of 9.77 million.

--Written by Michael Baron in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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