Morning Movers: Watch Wal-Mart; GM, Halliburton Inch Higher

Will the U.S. equity market recover from the previous sessions massive losses ? Not likely, but the major stock indexes did appear to steady themselves on the heels of positive economic data.

The Dow inched 0.2% higher to 20,651, while the SP 500 gained 0.3% to 23,646.6. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6% to 6,049.3.

Still, those gains are a drop compared to yesterday’s pullback that had the Dow drop almost 373 points and the Nasdaq retreating 158 points in its worse day since June.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) jumped 1.9% to $76.56 after the big box retail giant reported better-than-expected earnings and in-line same-store sales growth.

Halliburton (HAL) named President Jeff Miller as its new chief executive officer, to replace Dave Lesar, who is retiring next month. The energy giant’s stock lifted 0.2% to $46.44.

Perry Ellis International (PERY) surged 7.1% to $19.41 after the apparel maker posted earnings and revenue that bested expectations and upped its full-year outlook.

General Motors (GM) climbed 0.1% to $32.37 after the car said it plans to cease operations in India and South Africa as part of efforts to focus on fewer, more profitable markets.

BHP Billiton (BHP) gained 1.6% to just under $36. CEO Andrew Mackenziemet with activist investorElliott Management. The hedge fund is pressuring the mining company for a variety of strategic changes.

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