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The market had a good session despite being down as it did not give up much of anything from yesterday's big rally; the S&P 500 only fell 0.06% while the NASDAQ dropped 0.29%. Economic data was mixed with housing and employment below expectations while the Philly Fed survey came in a bit above.
U.S. home resales fell sharply in November to their lowest level in nearly a year, hurt by a rise in interest rates since the spring and ongoing price increases that have shut some home buyers out of the market. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said on Thursday that sales of previously owned homes dropped 4.3 percent last month, the third monthly fall in a row, to an annual rate of 4.90 million units. That was the lowest annual rate since December 2012, and well below the median forecast in a Reuters poll of a 5.03 million unit pace.
No change in the indexes from yesterday; over the next few days you would prefer to see them not to give up any more then half of yesterday's gains if you are a bull.
Facebook (FB) declined - but relatively mildly after the social networking company said founder Mark Zuckerberg would sell 41.4 million shares worth about $2.3 billion as part of an offering of 70 million shares.
Nike (NKE) reported after the bell and the initial reaction was a mildly positive one.
Nike Inc's quarterly profit rose as higher margin products made up a bigger share of its sales, and the sportswear maker said global orders for merchandise for delivery by April increased 13 percent. Total revenue rose 8 percent to $6.43 billion in the second quarter ended November 30, just below the $6.44 billion Wall Street analysts had forecast on average. But so-called futures orders, of shoes or clothes for delivery between December and April, rose to $10.4 billion.
In Western Europe, where Nike is whittling away at German brand Adidas AG's No. 1 position, sales rose 12 percent, while futures orders were up 26 percent. In China, where Nike had overstock problems earlier this year and faced aggressive discounting by local rivals, sales grew 5 percent, a new sign of improvement.
Oracle (ORCL) also surged after reporting earnings Wednesday evening.
The business software maker's fiscal second-quarter adjusted profit and revenue topped analysts' estimates. Oracle Corp. reported an adjusted profit of 69 cents per share on revenue of $9.28 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast earnings of 67 cents per share on revenue of $9.18 billion.
Pacific Crest Securities' Brendan Barnicle said in a client note that Oracle's quarterly strength was a good sign after the company missed estimates for three quarters. The analyst sees several potential growth drivers, including its new cloud offerings, its new database 12c and a possible recovery in the on-premise application market.
Target (TGT) shares fell after the discount retailer said about 40 million credit and debit card accounts used by its customers may have been impacted by a data breach. You can see from the chart it has not been a good 4 months for the stock.