Closing Bell: Stocks Head Higher for 4th Straight Day
The tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose 16.4 to 3,502. The Dow Jones industrial index (^DJI) picked up 75 points to end at 15,299, while the S&P 500 (^GPSC) gained 10.5 points to 1,651.
After spending much of last month focused on the Federal Reserve and its plans for economic stimulus, investors are turning their attention to corporate earnings and what the rest of the year holds. Though many companies are expected to post modest earnings.
Analysts at investment bank Goldman Sachs said in a note Tuesday that they expected second-quarter earnings growth of about 2 percent. They predicted that revenue growth would remain weak, however, hurt by a lackluster economy and a stronger dollar.
In another sign of a brightening economy, the U.S. saw fewer foreclosures in May compared with a year ago, while the number of houses in the foreclosure process also declined as the market continued to heal, according to CoreLogic. The data-analyst firm reported 52,000 foreclosures were completed, well below the 71,000 in May 2012. Even so, the number was up from 50,000 in April 2013.
Companies making news Tuesday:
- Shares of FedEx (FDX) shot up on speculation that billionaire William Ackman would make a big investment in the company. The stock rose 4.4 percent to $103.15 on strong volume.
- WD-40 Co. (WDFC) reported earnings that beat analyst forecasts but still ended the day down 56 cents, or nearly 1 percent, to $57.09.
- Barnes & Noble (BKS) rose 95 cents, or 5.4 percent, to $18.61 after the bookseller said Monday its CEO is leaving after three years. The company didn't name a replacement.
- IBM (IBM) fell $3.73, or 1.9 percent, to $191.25 after a Goldman Sachs (GS) analyst lowered his rating and cut his price target on the stock, saying the tech giant may face more pressure in the near term in emerging markets.
- Research In Motion (BBRY) won formal approval from shareholders to legally change its name to BlackBerry at its annual meeting. The Canadian company announced plans for the name change back in January, and since has been going by BlackBerry in marketing materials. BlackBerry shares rose 0.9 percent to $9.64.
- Private-equity firms MidOcean Partners and Vulcan Capital have teamed up to buy dental product maker Water Pik from another group of investors. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Water Pik makes water flossers, sonic toothbrushes and other dental products. The Fort Collins, Colo., company also sells replacement showerheads.
- Nutritional-product maker Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co. (HITK) rose slightly more than 5 percent to $35.22 despite reporting a $4.6 million loss in its fiscal fourth quarter. Revenues fell an unexpected 5 percent.
- Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) skidded 16.4 percent to $418.17 after revising down its revenue outlook for the second quarter. The company cited slow sales of its robotic surgery machines.
- Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (LH) fell $4.26, or 4.3 percent, to $95.89, following release of new Medicare reimbursement proposals Monday, which could result in increased scrutiny of lab reimbursement claims.
- Varian Medical Systems (VAR), a maker of medical devices and software for treating cancer, fell $1.89, or 2.8 percent, to $66.31.
What to watch Wednesday:
- American Greetings (AM) and Family Dollar Stores (FDO) report quarterly earnings before U.S. markets open.
- The Commerce Department releases wholesale trade inventories for May at 10 a.m. Eastern time.
- The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its June policy meeting at 2 p.m.
- Yum Brands (YUM) and PriceSmart (PSMT) report quarterly earnings after U.S. markets close.