Stocks held onto very modest gains throughout the day when
market-friendly data and upbeat retailer earnings renewed
confidence in the economy. But attempts to challenge recent record
highs were undermined by a greater-than-expected gain in initial
jobless claims and investors' reluctance to set aggressive
positions before the long holiday weekend.
The deluge of data this morning was mostly bullish, but there
were some pockets of weakness: the Chicago Fed reported a
significant deterioration in its national activity index to -32
from March's +34, and initial jobless claims jumped 28,000 to
326,000 versus the consensus for a smaller 13,000 increase.
But the bulls were encouraged by a 1.3% increase in existing
home sales, slightly below estimates at a seasonally-adjusted
annual pace of 4.65 million, but still evidence of resilience in
the housing market.
In addition, the Markit PMI index for May improved to 56.2 in
May from 55.4, beating estimates, while leading indicators were up
0.4% in April from an upwardly revised +1.0% the month prior.
Finally, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing index rose to 10.0
from 7.0 in April.
In corporate news, Best Buy (
) reported better-than-expected earnings, Lorillard (
) is in merger talks with Reynolds American (
), and General Electric (
) has extended its $17 billion purchase of France's Alstom to June
Here's where the markets stand at the close:
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 10 (+0.06%) at 16,543
S&P 500 was up 4 (+0.2%) at 1,892
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 22 (+0.6%) at 4,154
FTSE 100 was down 0.01%
Nikkei 225 was up 2.11%
Hang Seng Index was up 0.51%
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 0.18%
(+) NTLS Extends strategic network deal with Sprint (
) through 2022
(+) ROYL Identifies large drillable target on Alaska 3D
(+) ATOS Board approves a poison-pill provision
(+) BRTX Signed a two-year research agreement with Pfizer (PFE)
to jointly study
brown fat and its potential therapeutic uses
(-) WSTL Reported mixed financial results for Q4,
(-) ESI Reported a drop in new student and current student
(-) PVCT Seeking Alpha claims oncology drug failed breakthrough
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