Investors pushed the major averages higher on Tuesday a day
after the market fell in the wake of a bailout for Cyprus.
Sentiment was boosted by a series of economic reports in the
United States that showed the housing market is on the mend and
the economy remains stable. Consumer confidence data, however,
was a surprise disappointment.
Nevertheless, investors were looking to take risk as the
markets may be prepared to move beyond the situation in Cyprus
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 112 points, or 0.77
percent, to 14,560.
The S&P 500 rose better than 12 points, or 0.78 percent,
The Nasdaq added 17 points, or 0.53 percent, to 3,252.
Durable Goods Orders
Durable goods orders surged 5.7 percent in February after
declining 3.8 percent in January. This compared to consensus
expectations of a rise of 3.8 percent for the month.
The strength in the report was largely due to transportation
with transportation equipment orders jumping 21.7 percent. Not
including transportation, durable goods orders declined 0.5
Consumer confidence data released on Tuesday was a cause for
concern. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence report for
March showed a steep decline to 59.7 from 68.0 in the prior
month. This was way below economists' consensus estimates of a
decline to 65.0. The Expectations Index also fell from 72.4 down
Although confidence is important to economic activity, the
primary driver is income growth. The steep decline, however,
suggests that the consumer outlook is not as rosy as had been
New Home Sales
New home sales fell 4.6 percent on a month-over-month basis in
February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000. This
missed consensus estimates of 426,000, but was a significant 12.3
percent increase over last year.
On a regional basis, sales fell 13.3 percent in the Northeast,
rose 13.7 percent in the Midwest, fell 9.7 percent in the South
and declined 2.1 percent in the West. Nevertheless, the data was
strong on a year-over-year basis and the housing market remains
on an upward trajectory.
Late in Tuesday's trading session, the entire energy complex
was moving higher. At last check, NYMEX crude futures had risen
1.57 percent to $96.30 while Brent contracts were up 1.08 percent
to $109.34. Natural gas had added almost 3 percent to $3.98 near
the close of equities.
Precious metals were trading moderately lower towards the end
of the equity session. COMEX gold futures had lost 0.39 percent
to $1,600.40 while silver was off by 0.43 percent to $28.70.
Copper futures were last up 0.28 percent.
In the grains complex, corn and wheat were mixed. Corn was
last down a little less than 0.50 percent while wheat rose better
than 0.50 percent on the day. Movers in soft commodities included
coffee, which rose 1.50 percent, and sugar, which was down better
than one percent.
Heading into the closing bell, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year
Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:
) was up 0.11 percent to $117.35. The small gain for bonds pushed
The 2-Year Note yield was unchanged at 0.25 percent, but the
5-Year Note yield fell by one basis point to 0.77 percent.
The yield on the 10-Year Note and 30-Year Bond fell two and
one basis point to 1.90 percent and 3.14 percent,
The U.S. dollar was unchanged on Tuesday, with the PowerShares
DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:
), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket
of foreign currencies, trading around the flat-line late in the
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was also unchanged on the
session at $1.2857. The USD/JPY rose 0.34 percent on Tuesday
while the USD/CAD fell 0.51 percent.
Volatility and Volume
The VIX fell sharply on Tuesday as the Dow climbed better than
triple digits. The widely watched fear guage lost almost 8
percent to 12.70.
Volume was noticeably light on the day, with less than 75
million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:
) shares trading hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 129
Shares of Ziopharm Oncology (NASDAQ:
) collapsed on Tuesday after the company ended development of its
cancer drug palifosamide. The treatment had failed to stop
disease progression in a late-stage trial. The stock was last
down around 65 percent near the close.
Fast-food operator Sonic (NASDAQ:
) surged almost 9 percent after the company released bullish
fiscal Q2 results after the closing bell on Monday.
Chipmaker RF Micro Devices (NASDAQ:
) jumped around 7 percent after analysts at Oppenheimer upgraded
the stock to Outperform with a $7 price target.
Gordmans Stores (NASDAQ:
) plunged more than 15 percent after the company reported
disappointing fiscal Q4 earnings results.
Shares of Netflix (NASDAQ:
) surged after analysts at Pacific Crest raised their price
target on the stock to $225 and also provided some bullish
commentary on the name. Heading into the close, NFLX had risen
more than 5 percent.
Calumet Specialty Products Partners (NASDAQ:
) fell around 4.50 percent after announcing a secondary offering
of 5.25 million units priced at a 4.1 percent discount to
Monday's closing price.
Retailer Children's Place (NASDAQ:
) fell around 3 percent on the session after the company reported
an 18 percent decline in fiscal fourth-quarter earnings.
Hard-drive makers Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:
) and Western Digital (NYSE:
) both rose around 3 percent on Tuesday after analysts at Brean
Capital said that March quarter earnings may surpass Wall Street
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