A strong rally in technology shares along with encouraging
economic reports on the home front lifted major indices higher on
Tuesday. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq recorded their sixth
consecutive month of gains. The Dow Jones finished in the green
for the fifth month in a row. The Street also received a mixed
bag of economic reports. A report on the housing sector revealed
that home prices in U.S. increased at the highest pace in nearly
seven years. Meanwhile, consumer confidence increased in April
whereas Chicago PMI declined. The health care sector was the
biggest loser among the S&P 500 industry groups following
dismal results of Pfizer.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.1% to close
the day at 14,839.80. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% to finish
yesterday's trading session at 1,597.57. The tech-laden Nasdaq
Composite Index increased 0.7% to end at 3,328.79. The fear-gauge
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined 1.4% to settle at 13.52.
Consolidated volumes on the New York Stock Exchange, American
Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were roughly 6.55 billion shares,
higher than this year's daily average of 6.36 billion shares.
Advancing stocks easily outnumbered the decliners. For the 65%
that advanced, 32% declined.
Technology bellwether Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:
) gained nearly 3.0%, following a $17 billion non-bank bond deal.
This is the largest non-bank bond deal in history. The company
has taken this step to return cash to its shareholders.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:
) added 1.7% after the company said it will buy back more shares
and also increased its dividend. These developments helped major
indices finish in the green.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index increased in
February. According to the report, the Standard &
Poor's/Case-Shiller home prices index for the 10-City Composite
and the 20-City Composite surged 8.6% and 9.3% respectively over
the year ending February 2013. The 10- and 20-City Composites
inched up 0.4% and 0.3% in February.
According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence
rebounded sharply after declining in March. The index has
increased to 68.1 in April from previous month's reading of 61.9.
This was well above the consensus estimate of 60.7. The Present
Situation Index moved up to 60.4 from 59.2 whereas the
Expectations Index jumped to 73.3 from 63.7. On the other
hand, Chicago PMI declined sharply in April. The index declined
to 49 from 52.5. This was contrary to the consensus estimate of
an increase to 52.5. Chicago PMI slipped below 50 for the first
time in more than two years.
On the earnings front, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:
) reported its first-quarter results. The company's earnings and
revenue came in below the Street's estimate. Pfizer also
decreased its 2013 profit and sales forecast. Shares of the
company tumbled 4.5% after the quarterly results.
Health care stocks declined after Pfizer reported
lower-than-expected results and a dismal outlook. The Health Care
SPDR (XLV) lost 0.8%. Stocks such as Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:
), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:
), Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:
), Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:
) and GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:
) dropped 0.4%, 1.7%, 1.1%, 0.5% and 1.5%, respectively.
The technology sector was the biggest gainer among the S&P
500 industry groups and the Technology SPDR (XLK) gained 1.1%.
Stocks such as Google Inc (NASDAQ:
), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:
), Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:
), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:
) and Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ:
) added 0.7%, 1.5%, 0.5%, 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively.
APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
BRISTOL-MYERS (BMY): Free Stock Analysis
GOOGLE INC-CL A (GOOG): Free Stock Analysis
GLAXOSMITHKLINE (GSK): Free Stock Analysis
HEWLETT PACKARD (HPQ): Free Stock Analysis
INTL BUS MACH (IBM): Free Stock Analysis
INTEL CORP (INTC): Free Stock Analysis Report
JOHNSON & JOHNS (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis
LILLY ELI & CO (LLY): Free Stock Analysis
MERCK & CO INC (MRK): Free Stock Analysis
MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis
PFIZER INC (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report
TEXAS INSTRS (TXN): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.