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Home Depot said Tuesday that it would sell its wholesale supply business to buyout firms for $8.5 billion -- 17 percent less than previously agreed upon -- as the slumping housing industry and recent credit crunch forced the renegotiation of the deal.
Shares of Home Depot rose as much as 2 percent Monday after sources said the home improvement retailer agreed to cut the price in the sale of its supply unit by $1.8 billion to $8.5 billion.
Stocks closed broadly lower at the end of a light-volume trading session as continued weakness in financial stocks brought down the major indexes. The Dow fell 56 points, closing near the lows of the trading session, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ended with respective losses of 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively.
While July existing home sales came in in line with expectations, the pace is still weak and the increase in inventory (to 9.6 months supply at the current sales pace) is especially unwelcome. This occurred before the recent credit crunch, so the concern is that difficulties in the mortgage market may further impact sales in August. However, there are other things to keep in mind.
The 2.3% rise in the Dow last week, coupled with lower volume and lower volatility, has given the markets what it wants mosts: time. Time allows market participants to readjust risk. JP Morgan, in a note to clients this morning, said "The key issue for the months ahead will be to figure out the impact of tighter credit conditions on economic growth."
Stocks start the week on a weak note as investors await existing home sales data at 10 am New York time. A flurry of takeover headlines is getting attention, most importantly the revised deal by three private equity firms for Home Depot's service unit. The three buyers, Bain Capital, Carlyle Group and Clayton, Dubilier and Rice, agreed to buy the unit for $8.5 billion, 18% less than the original price agreed in June.
Home Depot agreed to cut the price in its supply division sale to buyout firms by $1.8 billion, sources said on Sunday, as a housing market drop and a credit crunch forced all sides to renegotiate.
Stocks ended higher at the end of a quiet week of trading, as investors were encouraged by further moves by the Federal Reserve and a vote of confidence for the nation's largest mortgage lender. The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a weekly gain of 1.8%, the S&P 500 rose 1.7% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.1%.
Shares of Home Depot were up 1.3 percent Friday as investors waited for word about whether a sale was on or off for the home improvement retailer's contractor business.
Stocks futures are meandering on both sides of the unchanged mark after stronger-than-expected durable goods orders and investors now await new home sales data due at 10 am New York time.
U.S. stocks bounced off earlier lows but closed with small losses amid ongoing worries regarding the global credit environment. "The conventional logic was that the worst was behind us but then reality set in and there's still trouble out there," said Dan McMahon, head of listed trading at CIBC World Markets.
A private equity-led buyout of home-improvement retailer Home Depot's wholesale supply division, due to close on Thursday, could be in trouble because investment banks involved are reluctant to fund the transaction even at a lower price, the Financial Times reported in its online edition, citing people familiar with the negotiations.
Retailer Lowe's reported a better-than-expected 9% rise in second-quarter profit Monday, aided by new store openings and market share gains, boosting its shares by 4% in pre-market trading.
Home Depot said Wednesday that it and the private equity firms that have agreed to buy its Home Depot Supply unit have delayed the proposed closing date of the deal to Aug. 23 from Aug. 16.
Credit worries cling to the stock market like fleas to a dog. One of today's headaches came from the Canadian asset-backed commercial paper market which traders here are eyeing nervously. Meanwhile, U.S. brokerage stocks and banks have been pulled into a spiral of selling, amid rumors that any one of the firms is facing credit issues. "They're all getting beaten with the ugly stick today," said Fast Money's Jeff Macke on Power Lunch today.
More credit problems surfaced in the financial sector on Tuesday, battering stocks and fueling worries that things will get worse before they get better. "The market is still jittery," said Stephen Porpora, managing floor broker with William O'Neil. "Everybody's looking for the next shoe to drop in this subprime problem."
Stocks closed sharply lower, with the Dow dropping more than 200 points, amid continuing anxiety about the credit markets and a weak earnings outlook from Wal-Mart. "I still feel the market is headed for a lower low," said Byron Wien, chief market strategist at Pequot Capital Management.
Home improvement retailer Home Depot said reported a 15 percent fall in second-period profit Tuesday as sales fell short of expectations amid the softer U.S. housing market.
CNBC's Bob Pisani reports on what traders are telling him before the market opens: The European Central Bank for a fourth day needed to add extra cash into the overnight lending market. But the action is working. Overseas markets are largely calm.
One week after Cerberus Capital announced former Home Depot spacerCEO Bob Nardelli will take over Chrysler, the reality of the job he faces in fixing the automaker is clear. It is gonna take a while.