Closing Update: Stock Market Withstands Late Selloff to Close Higher; Nasdaq Ends Above 4,000 for First Time Since 2000
Stocks closed higher for a fourth day in a row, with the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average again finishing at record highs, while the Nasdaq Composite Index closed above 4,000 for the first time since September 2000. Homebuilder stocks helped pace the day's gains following bullish data on the housing market and overcoming a measure of consumer confidence again drifting lower.
Despite the overall advance for the major market indices, industry sectors in the S&P 500 were split equally between winner and losers. Shares of consumer discretionary and technology paced the leaders while utility stocks fell 1% as a group as traders shunned the safe-haven sector for riskier plays.
Housing market data today helped defuse worries over the slow-down in real-estate and homebuilding this summer and instead showed homebuyers are returning to the market to capitalize on stable lending rates and a moderating prices. The Commerce Department reported housing permits jumped 6.2% during October to a 1.034 million annual pace, climbing to a five-and-a-half-year high.
The Federal Housing Finance Authority also said home prices rose a below-consensus 0.3% in September while the Case-Shiller index of home prices showed a greater than expected 1.0% rise over the same time frame.
The positive housing data offset another drop in consumer confidence, with the Conference Board reporting a slide to a 70.4 reading this month, down from 71.2 in October last month and trailing estimates looking for a 72.9 November reading.
Also today, the Richmond Fed's business activity index surged to 13.0 reading in November, up from a 1.0 reading last month and easily beating the market consensus for a 4.0 reading.
Commodities were mostly lower. Crude oil for January delivery settled 41 cents lower at $93.68 per barrel while December natural gas reversed earlier loss to finish 3 cents higher at $3.82 per 1 million BTU. December gold fell 20 cents to $1,241.20 per ounce while December silver was off 2 cents at $19.85 per share. December copper slid 2 cents to $3.21 per share.
Here's where the U.S. markets stood at end of day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.26 (0.00%) to 16072.80
S&P 500 up 0.27 (+0.01%) to 1802.75
Nasdaq Composite Index up 23.18 (+0.58%) to 4017.75
Hang Seng Index down 0.01%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.14%
FTSE 100 Index down 0.87%
(+) MBIS, Shares nearly double today after the internet-media company announced a strategic investment in a media platform for 3DPrintingIndustry.com. The companies also will work together on trade shows and an online-job board. Terms were not disclosed.
(+) ECTE, Positive results announced today from a multi-center clinical trial of its Symphony CGM System in surgical patients clears the way for the medical-device firm to file its CE Mark submission for European marketing approval before the end of the year.
(+) ELTK, Big advance for shares of the printed circuit board manufacturer ahead of reporting Q3 financial results tomorrow. There are no analyst estimates available for the firm, which posted EPS of $0.05 on a 7.8% rise in revenue to $12.5 mln in Q2.
(-) NUAN, Q4 operating margin falls for the speech-recognition company also forecasting fiscal Q1 and FY14 revenue and earning trailing analysts' estimates.
(-) JASO, Reports non-GAAP per-ADS net loss of $0.37, missing analyst consensus by $0.07.
(-) TTWO, Buys back 12.02 mln shares previously owned by Icahn Group at Monday's closing price of $16.93 per share.