April 19, 2024

Stocks & Bonds: Investors Upbeat Despite Troubling Data

Tiffany, the jewelry retailer, advanced 8.6 percent after raising its full-year earnings forecast as profit beat estimates. NetApp, a data management company, rallied 6.9 percent after it forecast earnings that topped projections.

The Standard Poor’s 500-stock index rose 5.22 points, or 0.40 percent, to 1,325.69. The Dow Jones industrial average increased 8.10 points, or 0.07 percent, to 12,402.76. The Nasdaq composite index rose 21.54 points, or 0.78 percent, to 2,782.92.

“The bright side is that there’s a clear dichotomy between the health of corporate America and the economy,” said Mark D. Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.. “We’ve softened somewhat. Still, profits remain good and there’s M. A. activity. That tells me that we’re not going to see a huge move in stocks in either direction.”

The S. P. 500 has fallen 2.8 percent from an almost three-year high on April 29 amid concern about Europe’s debt crisis and weaker-than-forecast economic data. Still, the benchmark gauge is up 5.4 percent from the end of 2010 amid government stimulus measures and higher-than-expected corporate profits.

The nation’s economy grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter, less than forecast, reflecting a smaller gain in consumer spending than previously calculated. The revised rise in gross domestic product was the same as estimated last month and compared with a 3.1 percent gain in the previous quarter, Commerce Department figures showed. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 2.2 percent increase.

More Americans unexpectedly filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign the labor market is struggling to gain momentum.

Tiffany increased $6, to $76.04. The jeweler raised its full-year forecast as sales did better in Japan than expected after the earthquake.

NetApp rose $3.58, to $55.31. The data-management company forecast adjusted earnings of as much as 57 cents a share for the first quarter, compared with the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg of 50 cents a share.

Walgreen, the drugstore chain, retreated 1 percent to $43.70 after Goldman Sachs cut the company from its “conviction buy” list.

Big Lots, the discount retailer, declined 2.8 percent to $31.44 after its second-quarter profit forecast fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Interest rates were lower. The Treasury’s benchmark 10-year note rose 20/32, to 100 18/32, and the yield fell to 3.06 percent, from 3.13 percent late Wednesday.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=6a7f970be2a5c3122e686176f6f14d4f

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