U.S. stocks ended modestly on a positive note following better-than-forecast housing market report that equalize European debt crisis.
S&P 500 Index added 0.14 percent to close at 1,367.59. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 2,966.16, up 0.08 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.01 percent to close at 12,981.51.
On the economic front, January pending home sales index rose 2.0% to 97.0 from last month, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The January index is the highest since April 2010, when it reached 111.3 as buyers were rushing to take advantage of the home buyer tax credit.
NAR said there has been an upward trend in pending home sales, which was uneven but significant since reaching a cyclical low last April. The data reflect contracts but not closings.
The World Bank said there is a compelling case for reforms in the Chinese economy that has reached a turning point in its development path and urged the country to complete its transition to a market economy.
Hot Stocks of the Day: PCLN, ERT, PCS, LOW, MSI, DNDN
Priceline.com Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) gained 5.49% to $624 in extended trading. The company's Q4 adjusted EPS was $5.37 on revenue of $990.77 million, while Street predicts profit of $5.05 on revenue of $967.91 million. For Q1, the company expects adjusted earnings of $3.80 to $3.90 per share and revenue growth of about 22% to 27%, while Street predicts profit of $3.72 per share on revenue growth of 25.20%.
eResearch Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ERT) rallied 13.31% to $6.30 in extended trading. Q4 adjusted EPS were $0.14 on revenue of $52.29 million, while Street predicts profit of $0.10 on revenue of $47.52 million. For Q1, the company expects adjusted EPS of $0.08 to $0.11, while Street predicts $0.10. For 2012, the company guides adjusted EPS of $0.45 to $0.53, while Street predicts $0.46.
MetroPCS Communications Inc. (NYSE:PCS) rose 7.66% to $12.96 in extended trading after the New York Times' report that Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) deal for MetroPCS fell apart after Sprint's board rejecting the deal.
Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE:LOW) rallied 0.92% to $27.41 in extended trading after the home improvement retailer posted better-than-expected quarterly results and LOW guided fiscal 2012. EPS was 26 cents on revenue of $11.34 billion for Q4. Analysts' expected EPS of 24 cents on revenue of $11.34 billion. Comparable store sales for the quarter increased 3.4%. For fiscal 2012, Lowe's expects earnings of $1.75 to $1.85 per share and total sales to increase 1% to 2%. On same-week basis, total sales are expected to increase by about 3%. Street analysts predict profit of $1.79 per share on revenue growth of 0.60%.
Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE:MSI) closed up 1.46% at $50.15 after it has buyback 23.74 million shares of its common stock from Carl Icahn and his certain affiliates at $49.15 per share, for aggregate cash consideration of $1.17 billion.
Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ:DNDN) fell 20.52% at $11.81 on Monday's close. The company's Q4 EPS was $0.26 on product revenue of $77 million, while Street analysts predicted loss of $0.23 on revenue of $120.80 million.
The European markets closed lower, with Germany's DAX lost 0.22 percent to trade at 6,849.60. France's CAC40 fell 0.74 percent to 3,441.45. Britain's FTSE 100 inched 0.33 percent lower to close at 5,915.55.
The Asian markets also closed lower, with Hang Seng inched 0.88 percent lower to 21,217.86. Singapore's Straits Times fell 1.05 percent to 2,946.78.
After the closing bell, crude oil fell 1.94 percent at $107.64 per barrel. Gold lost 0.49 percent to $1,767.70 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro traded 0.37 percent lower against the U.S. dollar at 1.3397.