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The Markets Now: Stocks Edge Lower, Economic Reports Mixed

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Stock gains and declines were muted this morning as neither technology nor blue chip bank stocks drove movement.

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Stocks edged lower Tuesday as investors may have been discouraged by dragged out debt ceiling talks and news that Germany's economy expanded only 0.7% in 2012. In US economic news, however, December retail sales were better than expected at 0.05%, indicating that consumer spending is up.

The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) opened at 13476, down 0.26%, and gained a few points to 13487.07. The Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) opened at 3095.12, down 0.69%, and moved up to 3100 (-0.53). The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) began at 1464 -0.39% and inched up to 1469.06 (-0.18%).

Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) shares rose 1.58% to $12.48 after suspending talks to take the company private.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) said it will sell some of its properties to Denbury Resources (NYSE:DNR) for $1 billion. ConocoPhillips was virtually unchanged at $58.46, down just 0.02%. Denbury shares were at $17.20, up 1.90%.

In its quarterly earnings, Lennar (NYSE:LEN) announced 42% growth in revenue and a gross margin that went up to 23% from 19% year-over-year. The stock was down slightly at $40.94.

Burberry (LON:BRBY) posted high same-store sales for the third quarter. The stock opened at $1,378.00, up 4%, and continued to rise to $1385.00, up 4.53%.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continued to decline, opening at $490.33, and continuing its downward trend to $487.92.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) remains high, beginning at $30.88, up 0.22%, and rising to $31.57, up 1.91%. The company will host an event this afternoon, where it is expected to make a special announcement.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) was downgraded from overweight to neutral by JPMorgan. Shares inched lower to $60.78.

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) opened at $45.82, down 0.15%, and stayed lower at $45.81.

Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) traded down 6.15% to $67.85 . Lululemon raised its fourth-quarter guidance, but its revenue projections proved rosier than analysts believe is justified.
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