Stocks End Choppy Session Flat; ARM Holdings Falls

By Vincent Mao, Investor’s Business Daily

Stocks seesawed to a flat finish Tuesday amid better-than-expected housing starts and building permits as well as comments by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said that the central bank does not have tools to offset the fiscal cliff.

The Nasdaq ticked up a fraction and the Dow Jones industrial average eased a fraction. Meanwhile the S&P 500 edged up 0.1%. Volume fell across the board, according to preliminary data.

Sturm Ruger (RGR) shot up 6% in more than twice its average trade on news of a special dividend. Late Monday, the gun maker declared a special payout of $4.50 per share, to be paid Dec. 21.

The IBD 50 stock recently fell more than 8% below a 52.13 buy point in a cup-with handle base, but it cleared that buy point again Tuesday.

Valspar (VAL) erased an early loss and climbed 4% to a new high in heavy trading. The stock cleared a 59.91 buy point in a flat base. Shares initially were down about 4% after the paint maker delivered mixed fiscal Q4 results. Valspar’s earnings rose 2% to 86 cents a share, or a penny above views. Sales fell 2% to about $1.02 billion vs. views for $1.07 billion. It guided 2013 profit in line with expectations.

Rival Sherwin-Williams (SHW) edged up nearly 1% to a fresh record high. The stock cleared a 156.60 buy point in a flat base Monday.

ARM Holdings (ARMH) dropped 4% and ended a four-session run. The stock was downgraded to outperform from strong buy at Raymond James. Despite the drop, the stock is still 18% past a 29.29 buy point from a cup-with-handle base. ARM Holdings gapped past that handle Oct. 23.

Data on initial jobless claims, consumer sentiment and leading economic indicators will be out Wednesday. Farming equipment maker Deere & Co. (DE) will also report earnings.


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