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Here's what's making the headlines in the stock market today.
- The FOMC will release minutes from its July meeting at 2 p.m. EDT- Even though further additional stimulus measures were not announced at the last meeting investors will try to decipher what was said for clues that QE3 could be on the way. Many economists think that the Federal Reserve could announce the measure at the Jackson Hole, WY symposium which takes place next Friday and Saturday Aug 31- Sep 1.
Bernanke announced QE2 in Jackson Hole in 2010 but investors may be disappointed this time around. "There's not going to be enough data for him to say anything new," Catherine Mann, a finance professor at Brandeis University and former Fed economist who has attended the meeting twice told CNN. "It's possible he will make some reference to slowing global growth, increasing headwinds from Europe, and the slowing of the economy as the consequence of uncertainty related to fiscal cliff."
- Existing home sales climb- Sales of existing homes climbed 2.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million in July. This was slightly below the forecast of 4.5 million homes. The median price of existing homes climbed 9.4% year-over-year to $187,300, and inventories rose 1.3% to 2.4 million units, representing 6.4 months of supply. Even though sales picked up from June the 4.47 million sales pace is below the level reached in April and May and below the roughly 5.5 million that economists consider healthy.
- Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) disappoints investors- Dell released its fiscal second quarter earnings after yesterday's close that slightly beat income estimates but lowered its full-year outlook. The number 2 U.S. PC maker reported net income of $732 million or 42 cents a share in the fiscal second quarter, compared with $890 million or 48 cents a year earlier. Excluding certain items, it earned 50 cents a share, beating analysts' estimates for 45 cents. However Dell lowered its full-year outlook for EPS to "at least" $1.70 for fiscal 2013, compared with a previous forecast for more than $2.13. "People had already expected them to take down numbers, but I think the level to which they are taking down numbers is pretty severe compared to expectations," Cross Research analyst Shannon Cross told Reuters. Following the poor earnings report at least six brokerages lowered their price targets for DELL stock which is down over 6.5% in early trading.
- Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) profit rises, delivers more homes- The largest luxury homebuilder reported net income rose 46% to $61.6 million, or 36 cents per share, from $42.1 million, or 25 cents per share a year earlier. Analysts were expecting earnings of 18 cents per share. Revenue increased 41% to $554.3 million from $394.3 million, beating Wall Street's estimate of $515.2 million. For 2012, the company expects home-sale revenue of $1.71 billion to $1.84 billion. It raised the lower end of its full-year home delivery outlook to 3,000-3,200 units from its prior view of 2,700-3,200 units. TOL stock is up almost 5% in early trading.
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