Equities started slow but then bolted higher, as the Dow Jones
Industrial Average (DJI) surged nearly 137 points at its session
high. "We were hit with some disappointing jobs numbers this
morning, and then some great housing numbers. The housing data
boosted homebuilding stocks, but the overall market really didn't
pop until after lunch," said Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "I
think most investors are soaking in the fact that we had another
round of good earnings last night, and the beat rate continues to
be very impressive."
Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:
And now, a look at the numbers...
- Upbeat pending home sales data
pushed the XHB higher
- Equities Analyst Bryan Sapp examined
why the bears haven't taken control of the
- Plus, Bell checked in on the
recently overlooked mid caps
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,204.62)
swelled 114 points, or 0.9%, to land just below its late-session
peak of 13,227.82. Twenty-four of the Dow's 30 components settled
with wins, as Wal-Mart (
) led the outperforming issues with a 2.8% upswing. Conversely,
Exxon Mobil (
) paced the losing blue chips with a 0.9% loss, stemming from its
first-quarter earnings miss.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,399.98)
pierced 1,400 in afternoon trading today, but couldn't maintain its
footing. By the time the dust cleared, the SPX gained 9.3 points,
After enjoying its
best performance of the year on Wednesday
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,050.61)
kept the positive momentum going and added 21 points, or 0.7%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 16.24)
fell for a third consecutive day, peeling back 3.5%. The VIX was
able to repair some of its losses and closed above its session low
Initial jobless claims
fell by 1,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, said the
, as the previous week's claims were upwardly revised to 389,000
from 386,000. The report was softer than projected, as estimates
called for a decline to 376,000.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR)
pending home sales index
jumped 4.1% in March to 101.4, marking an 11-month high. By
contrast, economists were looking for a gain of just 1.3%. On a
year-over-year basis, the index was up 12.8% last month.
: "The market may be picking up a little bit of positive momentum.
The SPX broke out above the top if its range near the 1,390 area,
and the Russell 2000 Index (
) is displaying strength as well," noted Bell. "Bulls would love to
keep the earnings momentum going and finally put this range-type
behavior behind them."
Turning to today's major market stories...
For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head
to page 2.
Oil futures notched their third straight win today, climbing
back from an early deficit brought on by poorly received jobless
data. A strong increase in pending home sales, as well as a
faltering greenback, helped the dollar-denominated commodity find
its footing in positive territory. While stocks continued their
march higher, June-dated crude edged up 43 cents, or 0.4%, to end
at $104.55 a barrel.
Gold futures rallied to their best price since April 12, getting
a boost from the Federal Reserve's indication that QE3 is not yet
out of the question. As the dollar weakened, gold for June delivery
tacked on $18.20, or 1.1%, to close at $1,660.50 an ounce.
Levels to Watch in Trading
- Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,204.62) - support at
11,500; resistance at 14,000
- S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,399.98) - support at 1,100;
resistance at 1,500
- Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,050.61) - support at 2,400;
resistance at 3,400
For today's notable annual highs and lows,
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