A trio of upbeat economic reports drove the market higher Tuesday, with the S&P capturing another record. Reports on consumer confidence, orders for durable goods and home prices all pointed towards better economic growth.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 69 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 51, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added another 11 points to the record high set Friday.
Apple (AAPL), the biggest stock on the S&P, rose nearly 2 percent to its highest level since it peaked about a year and a half ago. Several reports say the company is about to roll out new software that would allow the iPhone to control household appliances, lights and thermostats -- what's becoming known as the "internet of things." Apple now has a market value of more than half a trillion dollars.
Among other Nasdaq leaders, Google (GOOG) gained more than 2 percent, Facebook (FB) rose 3½ percent and Priceline (PCLN) gained 5 percent, but Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX) both ended lower.
Biotechs Biogen (BIIB), Celgene (CELG), and Regeneron (REGN) all gained about 3½ percent and Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) rose 5 percent. But Durata Therapeutics (DRTX) dropped more than 10 percent. Analysts says it's one of those "buy on the rumor, sell on the news" stories. The company received FDA approval for a key drug. Even after today's drop, Durata has still doubled in price over the past year.
But gold stocks lost some of their luster as the precious metal got hammered. AngloGold (AU) fell 6½ percent.
Elsewhere, Bank of America (BAC) rose 3½ percent after resubmitting its capital plan to the Federal Reserve. It was one of the few big banks to have its plan rejected earlier this year.
Aeropostale (ARO) jumped 15 percent after completing a $150 million financing pact with a private equity firm, but shares of the teen retailer are still down 73 percent from a year ago.
Shares of Spherix (SPEX), an intellectual property firm, nearly doubled in price after a Senate committee dropped consideration of a patent reform bill that could have decimated its business.
Barnes & Noble (BKS) rose 9 percent after a Barron's report said the stock could double in price.
And Analog Devices (ADI) fell 12 percent after lowering its earnings outlook.
What to Watch Wednesday:
Germany's Federal Labor Agency releases May unemployment figures.
The European Commission releases a long-range plan for securing the EU's energy supplies.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.
6 Best Things to Buy at Memorial Day Sales
After Market: All Signs Pointed Upward, and Stocks Followed
Many clothing stores will offer additional discounts on clearance items, and consumers can expect some online retailers to offer free shipping, according to dealnews.com. Aeropostale (ARO) has marked down everything, including new arrivals by 50 percent. American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) is offering an additional 40 percent off clearance items that already are marked down up to 50 percent. JCPenney (JCP) has hundreds of items for men, women and children on sale for $20 or less. Gap is offering daily deals online and discounts of up to 50 percent online and in stores. Nordstrom's (JWN) "half-yearly sale" means women's and kids' clothing will be 40 percent off, and there will be free shipping on online purchases, according to Offers.com. Lands' End (LE) has markdowns of up to 65 percent. Sears has discounted summer apparel 50 percent to 60 percent and is offering additional discounts of up to 25 percent for online orders of $150 or more.
Best Buy (BBY) has marked down major appliances 10 percent to 25 percent. Select appliances at Home Depot (HD) are up to 45 percent off. Lowe's (LOW) has discounts ranging from 10 percent to more than 30 percent on select appliances. Sears (SHLD) led up to the holiday with 30 percent off its Kenmore appliances and up to 40 percent off other appliances.
You can save up to 50 percent on tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and other outdoor essentials during Backcountry.com's Memorial Day sale. Plus, you can get free two-day shipping on orders of $50 or more. Outdoor gear retailer REI is having its biggest sale of the year through May 26, with up to 30 percent off clothing, shoes, camping gear and more.
If you missed the great deals on HDTVS in January and February, you can take advantage of Memorial Day sale markdowns. Best Buy is offering up to 25 percent off select 22-inch to 55-inch HDTVs and free shipping for online purchases. Amazon (AMZN) has discounts ranging from 20 percent to 50 percent on HDTVs, DVD players, streaming media players and television accessories.
You'll find some of the best sales at Macy's (M) and Sears. Macy's is offering an additional 10 percent off mattresses that are marked down 30 percent to 50 percent. Sears is offering savings of up to 60 percent on mattresses, plus an extra 10 percent off mattresses priced more than $599 and free delivery.
Sears has discounts of up to 50 percent on select power tools and 20 percent of lawn and garden power tools. Markdowns on tools at Lowe's range from 10 percent to more than 30 percent.