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Daily Market Summary (Feb 21st)

Dow: +16 (.12%)
Nasdaq: -3 (-.11%)
S&P: +1 (.07%)
Gold: +33 (1.92%)
Oil: +3.49 (3.40%)
10-yr: +.05 to 2.06%

Equity markets were up moderately in morning trading largely due to Greek news regarding its second round of bailout financing. The momentum fizzled as investors digested the information (a likely a buy the rumor, sell the news event) and the IMF's funding of the bailout came into question. All three major indexes closed flat.

The Dow briefly topped 13,000 in late morning/early afternoon trading, an impressive feat given the near 4% decline in stalwart Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT). The retailer grew its top line, but compressed margins continued to weigh on earnings. The news should not have been a huge surprise given the deep discounts offered to consumers this holiday season.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD), on the other hand, closed up, although well off early-morning highs. The home improvement store appears to be benefitting from the mild winter as the construction season pushed later last fall and may have begun early this winter. While the climate may be beneficial now, the additional sales are likely cannibalizing some HD's usual spring and summer receipts.

There were no significant U.S. data releases, although the January Chicago Fed National Activity Index came in strong. Gold traded higher largely due to the news coming yesterday that China would ease reserve requirements. Oil moved up nearly 3.5% on news that Iran would not sell its product to British or French refineries. Airline stocks were crushed on the move, largely due to higher expected fuel costs and increased pressure on consumer spending due to higher gas prices.