Closing Update: Markets Set New Records in Broad-Based Rally; Industrial Stocks Lead Gains Following Positive Global Data

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U.S. markets closed at record highs after initial jobless claims fell to a five-year low, with the S&P 500 climbing past 1,700 for the first time ever. Industrial stocks led stocks higher after manufacturing data from China, Europe and the U.S. all showed robust growth. The Dow Jones Industrials Average also posted triple-digit gains, despite disappointing earnings today from component company Exxon Mobil Corp, which saw Q2 net income fall 57% from the same quarter last year.

Economic data today was overwhelmingly bullish as initial claims fell by a greater-than-expected 17,000 to 326,000 during the week ended July 27. The July purchasing manager's index improved to 53.7, above Wall Street estimates of a gain to 53.1. And while construction spending fell 0.6% in June compared with estimates calling for a 0.4% increase, the number was all but ignored when the Markit ISM index jumped to 55.4 reading, well above the consensus for a gain to only 53.1 from 50.9 in June.

The European Central Bank and the Bank of England both ended policy meetings earlier today by leaving interest rates at record lows, less than a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy still needs help and also would keep its stimulus measures in place.

Commodities were mixed. Crude oil for September delivery cents continued its recent surge, rising $2.86 to settle at $107.89 per barrel while September natural gas was down 6 cents to finish at $3.39 per 1 million BTU.December gold fell $2.00 to $1311 per ounce. September silver settled unchanged at $19.63 per ounce and September copper rose 4 cents to $3.16 per pound.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at end-of-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 128.48 (+0.83%) to 15,628.02

S&P 500 up 21.14 (+1.25%) to 1,706.87

Nasdaq Composite Index up 49.37 (+1.36%) to 3,675.74

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index up 0.94%

Shanghai China Composite up 1.77%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.92%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) ZLTQ, Medical-device company narrows its Q2 net loss from year-ago period by $0.14, posting a net loss of $0.10 per share and beating analyst expectations by $0.08 per share. Quarterly revenue also topped Street view.

(+) SFM, Super-market chain soars in first day as a publicly traded company after pricing initial public offering of 18.5 million shares at $18 apiece - $3 above the mid-point of its expected $14 to $16 per share range.

(+) TRLA, Home-buyer research service reporta Q2 earnings and revenue that topped estimates. Also provides upside revenue guidance for Q3.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) HGR, Q2 EPS misses by $0.04 while revenue was in-line with market projections. Raises FY13 EPS guidance, staying in-line with estimates. FY13 revenue forecast also in-line.

(-) ELNK, Reports wider-than-expected net loss of $0.11 per share, trailing estimates by $0.07 per share.

(-) SBH, Q2 earnings of $0.42 per share miss by a penny.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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