A big late-day turnaround helps the Dow avoid its first three-day sell-off of the year.
The Dow Industrials bounced in and out of the plus column for much of the day, but rallied to close at session highs, up 80 points. The S&P 500 gained 13 points and the Nasdaq rose 22.
Verizon gained 3.5 percent despite reports that it has been forced to turn over to the government vast amounts of data about the telephone calls of its customers. AT&T also edged higher.
SodaStream gained nearly 3 percent, even though Pepsi denied rumors that it's in talks to buy the company, which makes machines that convert tap water into carbonated drinks.
Network equipment maker Ciena jumped 17 percent as its quarterly loss narrowed and the company issued a surprisingly upbeat forecast. That helped lift competitor JDS Uniphase.
Apple lost more than 1 percent, despite reports that it's working on a plan to allow customers to trade in their iPhones in an effort to boost sales.
Homebuilder and biotech stocks bounced back after several tough days. Toll Brothers and Pulte Home both gained 4 percent. Biogen added 3 percent.
The big loser of the day was VeriFone, down 21 percent. The maker of electronic payment equipment posted earnings well short of expectations. The stock is now down more than 40 percent this year.
Other big losers include:
Vera Bradley down 8 percent as its quarterly net fell and the handbag maker said its costs have been rising.
Specialty retailer Francesca's lost 9 percent after reporting the pace of its sales growth has slowed.
And Netflix fell 2.5 percent –- not because of anything it did. But rival DVD service RedBox said it will team with Verizon to launch the Roku set-top device this summer. Coinstar, which owns Roku, gained 1 percent.
What happens tomorrow will likely be determined by the monthly jobs report. But it's impossible to say if good news on the economy will be good for the market, or vice versa.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg
86 Percent of Americans Can't Ace This Simple Personal Finance Quiz. Can You?
Closing Bell: Dow Avoids 3-Day Sell-Off as Stocks End Higher
A. More than $102
B. Exactly $102
C. Less than $102
A. More than $102
You’ll have more than $102 at the end of five years because your interest will compound over time. In other words, you earn interest on the money you save and on the interest your savings earned in prior years. Here’s how the math works. A savings account with $100 and a 2 percent annual interest rate would earn $2 in interest for an ending balance of $102 by the end of the first year. Applying the same 2 percent interest rate, the $102 would earn $2.04 in the second year for an ending balance of $104.04 at the end of that year. Continuing in this same pattern, the savings account would grow to $110.41 by the end of the fifth year.
Imagine that the interest rate on your savings account is 1 percent a year and inflation is 2 percent a year. After one year, would the money in the account buy more than it does today, exactly the same or less than today?
The reason you have less is inflation. Inflation is the rate at which the price of goods and services rises. If the annual inflation rate is 2 percent but the savings account only earns 1 percent, the cost of goods and services has outpaced the buying power of the money in the savings account that year. Put another way, your buying power has not kept up with inflation.
True or false: A 15-year mortgage typically requires higher monthly payments than a 30-year mortgage but the total interest over the life of the loan will be less.
Assuming the same interest rate for both loans, you will pay less in interest over the life of a 15-year loan than you would with a 30-year loan because you repay the principal at a faster rate. This also explains why the monthly payment for a 15-year loan is higher. Let’s say you get a 30-year mortgage at 6 percent on a $150,000 home. You will pay $899 a month in principal and interest charges. Over 30 years, you will pay $173,757 in interest alone. But a 15-year mortgage at the same rate will cost you less. You will pay $1,266 each month but only $77,841 in total interest—nearly $100,000 less.
C. Stay the same
D. There's no relationship to bond price and interest rates.
When interest rates rise, bond prices fall. And when interest rates fall, bond prices rise. This is because as interest rates go up, newer bonds come to market paying higher interest yields than older bonds already in the hands of investors, making the older bonds worth less.
In general, investing in a stock mutual fund is less risky than investing in a single stock because mutual funds offer a way to diversify. Diversification means spreading your risk by spreading your investments. With a single stock, all your eggs are in one basket. If the price falls when you sell, you lose money. With a mutual fund that invests in the stocks of dozens (or even hundreds) of companies, you lower the chances that a price decline for any single stock will impact your return. Diversification generally may result in a more consistent performance in different market conditions.