US STOCKS-Wall St near flat though retail shares rally

martes 25 de febrero de 2014 15:39 GYT

* Home Depot and Macy's rally after results

* Markets seek direction after rise to all-time high

* Consumer confidence falls more than expected in Feb

* Indexes: Dow off 0.01 pct, S&P off 0.02 pct, Nasdaq off 0.1 pct

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were nearly flat on Tuesday as a rise in retail shares following strong results from companies including Home Depot was offset by weaker-than-expected consumer confidence data.

The S&P 500, which hit an intraday record high on Monday, remained points from its all-time closing high of 1,848.38 but still in negative territory for the year.

Home Depot shares rose 2.8 percent to $80.09, giving the S&P 500 its biggest boost. The Dow component's earnings beat expectations, though sales fell more than expected in the fourth quarter. Macy's Inc jumped 6.3 percent to $56.41 after the retailer reported a drop in January sales, but said fourth-quarter earnings rose from the prior year.

"There are a couple of credible pieces of information that didn't get caught in the snow drifts," said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist, D.A. Davidson & Co in Lake Oswego, Oregon. "Consumers are spending."   Continuación...