* Home Depot shares rally after results, outlook
* Traders: Buying may be on Spain bailout-request rumors
* Microsoft shares drop on executive exit
* Dow up 0.2 pct, S&P 500 up 0.2 pct, Nasdaq down 0.3 pct
(Updates to midday trade)
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Nov 13 The Dow and the S&P 500 rose
slightly on Tuesday, led by gains in retail stocks after strong
results from Home Depot, the world's largest home
Wall Street made a sharp turnaround about an hour into
trading, on rumors that Spain may be close to asking for a
sovereign bailout, which traders say may have increased buying.
"So now we are really seeing the rumor mill getting a bid
under risk assets," said David Lutz, managing director at Stifel
Nicolaus, in Baltimore.
Lutz added that the U.S. dollar has come off sharply, while
yields on Spanish bonds continued to tighten. European financial
shares turned higher, also prompting a turnaround in U.S.
finiancial stocks, which had declined earlier.
Dow component Home Depot Inc was the S&P 500's top
gainer, climbing 4.3 percent to $63.81 after the retailer
reported earnings that beat expectations and raised its outlook.
Shares of TJX Cos shot up 2.8 percent to $42.10 after
the company, which owns the Marshalls and T.J. Maxx discount
chains, reported a quarterly profit that beat analysts'
expectations by 1 penny a share. The S&P retail sector index
advanced 1.4 percent.
Energy stocks, which were trading lower earlier, also turned
around sharply. The S&P 500 energy sector index rose 0.5
Technology shares slipped, with an S&P technology index
down 0.2 percent. The tech sector came under pressure
from weakness in Microsoft after the executive most
widely tipped to be the next CEO left the company.
Microsoft's stock slid 3 percent to $27.15.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 19.36 points,
or 0.15 percent, at 12,834.44. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 2.31 points, or 0.17 percent, at 1,382.34. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 7.28 points, or 0.25
percent, at 2,896.98.
But the gains were seen limited as the euro zone's debt
crisis continued to roil global markets.
"I don't think that's going to be enough to cause a
turnaround in the market and make up all the losses we've made
in the past four or five trading sessions. I'm not convinced the
rally has legs right here," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice
president of BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
The S&P 500 was still down nearly 2 percent for the month on
lingering concerns about the "fiscal cliff" in the United
States, and the debt crisis in the euro zone.
The fiscal cliff is a series of budget cuts and tax hikes
that begin to take effect in the new year. Market participants
worry that if no deal is reached to avoid going over the cliff,
the economy could fall back into recession.
Concerns over this possibility contributed to the S&P 500's
worst week since early June last week, with no sign of a bottom
despite a drop of almost 3 percent over the past two weeks.
"The attention in the equity markets has shifted more
noticeably to the possibility that the U.S. fails to properly
handle the so-called fiscal cliff," said Ari Wald, an analyst at
PrinceRidge Group, in New York.
Wald said equities in developed countries have been
outperforming U.S. stocks despite worries about the euro zone's
In other earnings news, AK Steel Holding Corp shares
fell 14.3 percent to $4.68 after forecasting a fourth-quarter
In contrast, shares of Michael Kors Holdings gained
0.5 percent to $50.84 after the fashion designer's company
raised its outlook.
(Additional reporting by Ed Krudy and Leah Schnurr; Editing by
Kenneth Barry and Jan Paschal)