Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • Before Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 had finished higher for six straight trading sessions.
  • The Dow last week jumped 4.25%, the S&P 500 gained 4.30% and the Nasdaq climbed 5.31%.
  • Walmart fell 10% on Tuesday after the company reported disappointing fourth-quarter earnings results.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks traded lower on Tuesday, Feb. 20, and a sharp slump for Walmart Inc. (WMT)   ended a six-day winning streak for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 254 points, or 1.01%. The S&P 500 fell 0.58% after trading higher earlier in the session. The Nasdaq was down 0.07%.

Walmart fell 10% after the world's largest retailer earned $1.33 a share on an adjusted basis in the fourth quarter, below analysts' forecasts of $1.37, and said online sales growth slowed.

The company also said it expects earnings per share in 2019 of $4.75 to $5.

Home Depot Inc. (HD)  posted fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.69 cents a share, 8 cents above estimates. Revenue in the quarter was $23.88 billion, up from $22.21 billion a year earlier and ahead of forecasts of $23.66 billion. 

The home-improvement retailer said it expects sales growth of 6.5% in fiscal 2018. The stock declined 0.14%.

Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) and Action Alerts Plus holding NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI) reached a deal following months of back and forth.

Qualcomm announced early Tuesday, Feb. 20, that it agreed to an increased bid to buy out NXP, locking in a deal at $127.50 a share in cash, or about $44 billion total. Qualcomm's previous offer was $110 a share, about $39 billion total.

Qualcomm also agreed to lower the minimum tender condition to 70% of NXP's shares outstanding, down from a previous bid to purchase 80% of shares outstanding.

Qualcomm fell 1.3%, while NXP shares gained 6%.

Rite Aid Corp.  (RAD) shares rose 3% Tuesday after the drugstore chain said it had reached a merger agreement with Albertsons Cos.

Rite Aid shareholders will have the right to exchange 10 shares for 1 Albertsons share, as well as $1.83 in cash, or 1.079 Albertsons share, the companies said in a joint statement. Albertsons would own around 72% of the combined group, the companies said, but will be run by current Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley. The group will have 4,900 stores, 4,350 pharmacy counters and 320 clinics across 38 states, the companies said.

"This powerful combination enables us to become a truly differentiated leader in delivering value, choice, and flexibility to meet customers' evolving food, health, and wellness needs," said Standley. "The combined platform positions Rite Aid to capitalize on our pharmacy expertise and expand and enhance our pharmacy footprint. We are confident that delivering improved customer experiences and value will drive growth and profitability while creating compelling long-term value for shareholders."

Action Alerts Plus holding General Electric (GE) is exploring a sale of its industrial gas engine business that could be worth as much as $2 billion, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The stock fell 1.9%.

Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) is seeking buyers for its sterilization products division, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The division could fetch as much as $2 billion, the people said. J&J shares declined 1.7%.

Two big days are coming up for General Electric, says TheStreet's Executive Editor Brian Sozzi. 

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