Market Minute: Buyers Circle Saks; Big Day for Housing Stocks

a bidding war for Saks
Keith Srakocic/APPeople walk along Smithfield Street in downtown Pittsburgh past the Saks Fifth Avenue department store on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011.

Luxury retailer Saks could spark a bidding war, and falling housing stocks look to rebound.

The Dow Industrials tumbled another 139 points yesterday. That was well off the session low, but it's still the third triple digit loss in the past four sessions. The S&P 500 lost 19 points and the Nasdaq fell 36.

Several news reports say Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay, which owns Lord & Taylor, is interested in buying Saks. Some private companies might also be interested in making a run at Saks. And another luxury retailer, Neiman Marcus, has filed to go public, eight years after its was taken over by a private equity firm.

We continue to keep a close watch on homebuilders, with results from Lennar out this morning, along with a pair of economic reports: new home sales for May and the Case-Shiller index of home prices. Lennar's net and sales topped expectations, and the company sees the solid housing recovery continuing. But stocks in the sector have been hammered recently. D.R. Horton, Ryland, Hovnanian and MDC Holdings all fell by more than ten percent last week, and continued to lose ground yesterday.

Microsoft is reportedly planning to make video games that run on its Xbox system available to users of Apple's iPhone as well as smartphones using Google's Android system. Analysts say the move could mark a major change for the struggling video game industry.

Sprint shareholders vote today on the $21.6 billion dollar takeover bid from Japan's Softbank. Dish Network had been bidding for Sprint, but it's apparently unwilling to top the sweetened Softbank offer.

Goldman Sachs has lowered its rating on Agilent Technologies to 'neutral' from 'buy'. It doesn't see any catalysts in the near term to help drive the stock higher.

And pork producer Smithfield Foods has dropped Paula Deen as a celebrity endorser. This follows a controversy about her use of racial epithets, which prompted the Food Network to cut ties with Deen last week.