(By Balachander) U.S. stocks closed on a flat note as investors digested mixed economic readings ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech later this week.
S&P 500 Index slipped 0.08 percent to finish at 1,409.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.17 percent to end at 13,102.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.13 percent to close at 3,077.14.
On the economic front, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index in August dropped to a nine-month low to 60.6 from a revised 65.4 in July. Meanwhile, the S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas showed home prices showed an unexpected growth in June, up for a fifth straight month.
Bernanke will speak in the Fed's annual symposium Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday as investors keenly await remarks by the Fed chief about the economy.
Other domestic economic data that may move the market this week include: personal income and spending, pending home sales, weekly jobless claims, the preliminary second quarter GDP estimate and factory orders.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: PVH, LXK, MCP, SAFM, MOV, HNZ, AKS, KLAC, BWS, CYBX, DEPO
In corporate news, PVH Corp. (NYSE:PVH) rose 4.84 percent after the apparel company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped by higher sales from its Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein divisions and it raised its full-year forecast.
Lexmark International Inc. (NYSE:LXK) jumped 13.73 percent after the printer maker announced it will reduce roughly 1,700 jobs worldwide and stop making inkjet hardware as part of a move to cut costs and focus on higher value imaging and software services.
Molycorp Inc. (NYSE:MCP) added 12.92 percent after rare earth oxide (REO) producer said it has commenced operations at a new California mine and added it remains on track to achieve full Phase 1 production rates at Mountain Pass facility in the fourth quarter of this year.
Sanderson Farms Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) jumped 8.52 percent after the Laurel, Mississippi-based company swung to a third-quarter profit as sales jumped amid higher market prices for poultry products.
Movado Group Inc. (NYSE:MOV) soared 17.44 percent after the watch maker lifted its forecast for the full year for the second time following better-than-expected quarterly earnings.
H.J. Heinz Co. (NYSE:HNZ) gained 1.68 percent after the ketchup and soups maker forecast "strong" results for the first-quarter, citing "dynamic growth" in Emerging Markets as well as improved productivity and higher margins.
AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE:AKS) retreated 7.43 percent. UBS Securities downgraded rating on shares of the steel company to "Sell" from "Neutral" citing likely pricing pressure.
KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ:KLAC) fell 2.49 percent. Deutsche Bank downgraded rating on the stock to "Sell" from "Hold".
Brown Shoe Company Inc. (NYSE:BWS) tumbled 7.34 percent after the footwear retailer's quarterly revenue trailed market expectations. The company said it remains cautious about the overall macroeconomic environment.
Cyberonics Inc. (NASDAQ:CYBX) advanced 2.38 percent after the medical device company posted a 17 percent jump in quarterly earnings on growth in both new patients and replacement activity as well as higher sales.
Depomed Inc. (NASDAQ:DEPO) rose 2.94 percent after the pharmaceutical company said it has licensed rights to its Acuform drug delivery technology to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). Depomed will receive an upfront payment of $10 million and it will also receive a low single digit royalty on sales of JNJ's pain treatment Nucynta in the U.S., Canada, and Japan.
European markets closed on a negative note, with Germany's DAX down 0.64 percent to close at 7,002.68. France's CAC40 declined 0.90 percent to finish at 3,431.55. U.K.'s FTSE 100 dipped 0.02 percent to end at 5,775.71.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index added 0.85 percent to finish at 2,073.15. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.57 percent to end at 9,033.29. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index inched up 0.07 percent to end at 19,811.80. India's BSE Sensex closed at 17,631.71, down 0.27 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures rose 0.87 percent to $96.30 per barrel while natural gas futures retreated 1.58 percent to $2.611 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures edged down 0.36 percent to $1,669.6 per ounce and silver futures shed 0.68 percent to $30.925 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro advanced 0.55 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2568. The British pound inched up 0.19 percent against the greenback to 1.5824, while the dollar dropped 0.28 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.5200.