) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Tuesday, August 18, 2009.

Tuesday's Earnings Roundup

  • Home Depot (HD) - Get Report posted adjusted second-quarter earnings of 64 cents a share, better than the Thomson Reuters average estimate of 59 cents a share. Sales fell 9.1% from a year ago to $19.1 billion, slightly below the $19.2 billion consensus. On the positive side, Home Dept said it expects full-year revenue to fall 9% to $65.58 billion, above the average estimate target of $65.4 billion. Additionally, the retailer upped its full-year earnings guidance, saying it now expects earnings from continuing operations to be flat to 7% higher on a per-share basis, compared to the previous range of flat to down 7%.
  • Target (TGT) - Get Report said it had second-quarter earnings of 79 cents a share, better than the 66-cent-a-share target analysts were looking for. Sales fell 2.7% to $14.6 billion, matching the retailer's own preannouncement but below Wall Street's forecast of $15.1 billion. Gross margin improved from a year ago, Target said, while the credit card unit's performance was in line with expectations.
  • Saks (SKS) reported a second-quarter loss of 39 cents a share, although that number was better than the expected loss of 52 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Sales tumbled 14.5% from a year ago to $561.7 million, slightly worse than the consensus of $563 million. Gross margin in the quarter was 29.9%, down from a year ago but better than management forecasted.
  • CIT Group (CIT) - Get Report said in a regulatory filing it had a net loss of $1.62 billion, or $4.30 a share, in the second quarter, worse than the $1.95-a-share loss analysts expected. Additionally, CIT said there is still "substantial doubt" about its ability to continue operating, according to The Associated Press. Loan loss provisions rose to $588.5 million from $152.2 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Tuesday's Early Headlines

  • Producer Price Index Falls in July - The Labor Department said that the producer price index fell 0.9% in July, compared with expectations of a 0.3% decline and a rise of 1.8% in June. The core number, which excludes food and energy, dipped 0.1%. That compares to June's increase of 0.5% and the consensus for a 0.1% rise. Year over year, the PPI headline number has tumbled 6.8%, while the core number has climbed 2.6%.
  • Housing Starts, Building Permits Worse Than Expected - The National Association of Realtors said that house starts fell to an annualized rate of 581,000 in July from a revised 587,000 in June. Economists forecasted that housing starts climbed to 599,000 last month. Building permits fell to 560,000 from June's 570,000 annualized rate.
  • GM Reaches Agreement to Sell Saab. - Bloomberg reports that Koenigsegg reached an agreement to buy General Motors' Saab unit, citing two people familiar with the situation. Koenigsegg still needs to secure about $300 million in funding to complete the transaction, the report said, although an announcement is expected as early as Tuesday.
  • New AIG CEO Nets $7 Million Salary. - Reuters reports that American International Group (AIG) - Get Report said on Monday that it will pay newly-appointed Chief Executive Robert Benmosche an annual salary of $7 million. In a regulatory filing, AIG said Benmosche's salary would consist of $3 million in cash and $4 million in fully-vested common stock. He will also be eligible for a performance bonus of up to $3.5 million, according to the filing.