After Market: S&P Hits New High on Strong Housing Numbers

Records fell on Wall Street Friday as another solid report on housing lifted the market for the second day in a row. There's a three-day weekend coming up -- something that often prompts investor caution -- but the gains were broad-based even though volume was fairly light. The VIX, which measures volatility, fell to its lowest level this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 63 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 31, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 8, topping the record high set last week.

The Dow Transportation average also raced to an all-time high, lifted by airline stocks. United (UAL) soared more than 4 percent; Delta (DAL) gained more than 1 percent and Southwest (LUV) gained 2 percent. Southwest is at an all-time high, up 79 percent from a year ago.

New home sales bounced back with a better than expected 6.4 percent increase last month. Lennar (LEN) and D.R. Horton (DHI) both rose 4 percent. Pulte (PHM), Beazer (BZH) and Hovnanian (HOV) also solid posted gains.

Earnings continue to drive retail stocks.
  • Gap (GPS) edged higher even though net fell.
  • Foot Locker (FL) gained 1½ percent after topping expectations.
  • GameStop (GME) rose 4 percent. Its net rose, helped by the rollout last year of new Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
  • Zumiez (ZUMZ) rose 5½ percent on an earnings beat.
  • But Aeropostale (ARO) tumbled 24 percent. Its loss widened and sales declined. The retailer continues to struggle with teen fashion trends.

Also on the earnings front, TiVo (TIVO) rose 2 percent as it swung to a profit from a year ago loss. It also reported an increase in the number of subscribers.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) rose 6 percent on news the company plans to eliminate up to 16,000 additional workers in an effort to cut costs.

And several stocks extended big moves from yesterday. Best Buy (BBY) rose more than 3 percent for the second straight day after earnings beat expectations. Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS) jumped another 11 percent. And RetailMeNot (SALE) dropped another 6 percent thanks to a report that its coupon site has lost about one-third of its traffic following changes to Google's search algorithms. But the company says the report grossly overstates the impact of the Google change.

Finally, PTC Therapeutics (PTCT) soared 32 percent after winning conditional EU approval for its treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

What to Watch Monday:
  • U.S. stock and bond markets are closed for Memorial Day.
What to Watch Tuesday:
  • The Commerce Department releases durable goods for April at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • Standard & Poor's releases the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for March and the first quarter at 9 a.m.
  • The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for May at 10 a.m.
  • Retailers AutoZone (AZO) and Wet Seal (WTSL) release quarterly financial statements.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

6 Best Things to Buy at Memorial Day Sales
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After Market: S&P Hits New High on Strong Housing Numbers
Many clothing stores will offer additional discounts on clearance items, and consumers can expect some online retailers to offer free shipping, according to 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 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'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.
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.
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