* July housing starts top expectations
* Home Depot climbs after earnings, outlook
* Consumer prices barely rise in July
* Elizabeth Arden plunges after results
* Indexes up: Dow 0.26 pct, S&P 0.24 pct, Nasdaq 0.23 pc
(Updates to market open, adds quote)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Aug 19 U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday,
after solid earnings from Home Depot and supportive economic
data on inflation and the housing market.
Home Depot gained 4.1 percent to $86.99 as the
biggest boost to both the Dow and S&P 500. The world's largest
home improvement retailer reported earnings and revenue that
topped Wall Street expectations and raised its full-year profit
"It's been very mixed in the retail world and a company like
Home Depot, there is a multiplier effect there," said David
Donabedian, chief investment officer at Atlantic Trust in
"It is retail but it also feeds into the perception of what
is happening in the housing market, which finally seems to have
turned positive. That is huge for the economy."
Housing starts rebounded strongly in July, as groundbreaking
surged 15.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual 1.09-million
unit pace to halt two straight months of declines and top
expectations for a 969,000-unit rate.
In addition, the Consumer Price Index edged up 0.1 percent
last month, in line with expectations, which could give the
Federal Reserve reason to keep interest rates low for a while.
"The Fed wants to see a pick-up in economic activity to
raise their confidence that we are in a solid expansion, and the
housing starts data certainly does that. At the same time, the
very low inflation reading doesn't give them any cause for panic
on the inflation front," said Donabedian.
Minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting will be
released on Wednesday. Investors will also closely monitor the
Aug. 21-23 annual meeting of top central bankers at Jackson
Hole, Wyoming, for possible insight about the path for monetary
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 43 points or
0.26 percent, to 16,881.74, the S&P 500 gained 4.78
points or 0.24 percent, to 1,976.52 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 10.53 points or 0.23 percent, to 4,518.84.
TJX Cos gained 6.6 percent to $57.45 and Urban
Outfitters rose 4.2 percent to $38.47 after quarterly
results. The S&P retail index climbed 1.5 percent and
is up more than 5 percent for the month.
Elizabeth Arden tumbled 24.8 percent to $14.75
after the company reported the biggest quarterly loss in its
history due to a steeper-than-anticipated fall in sales of
Retailer Dick's Sporting Goods advanced 5.3 percent
to $45.83 after second-quarter results topped analysts'
Aeropostale shares jumped 12 percent to $3.63. The
apparel retailer said it had reappointed Julian Geiger as chief
executive and forecast a smaller loss than its earlier view.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and