1) KB Home was not an outlier. Lennar beat on top and bottom line, with orders up 10 percent (good, but below some expectations) along with an 18 percent increase in average sale prices. Also, they saw a 300 basis point increase in gross margins, to 25.1 percent (excellent).
"We are optimistic that the housing market is continuing to recover," CEO Stuart Miller said. They saw sequential monthly improvement in traffic and new orders.
2) Guess and Cato both gave 2014 guidance well below expectations—I mean about 25 percent below expectations;
Burlington also guided lower. Specialty apparel has been a mess this year: whether male or female, discount, sale, regular--it doesn't matter. Just about every retailer has lowered guidance: Ann Taylor, Ascena, BEBE, L Brands, Ross Stores, and TJX have all guided lower.
The non-affluent consumer is not spending much, and the weather has not helped. If we don't get some kind of pop when the weather improves--if we don't see some kind of pent-up demand in the next month or two--I would be very worried about the future of retail.
However Herman Miller gave 2014 earnings and revenue guidance that was above expectations. We're talking furniture, the one consumer segment—home improvement—that is doing better.
3) The initial public offering flood continues: a) Cloud-based online banking company Q2 Holdings (QTWO) priced 7.7 million shares at $13, above the price talk of $11-$13, and b) severe burn biotech MediWound (MDWD) priced five million shares at $14, low end of the price talk of $1-$16.
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani