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NEW YORK (AP) – An encouraging report on the housing market nudged most stocks higher on Tuesday, while Facebook took another fall.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36 points to 12,540 a
half hour after noon. JPMorgan Chase, which has been hammered since disclosing a
$2 billion trading loss May 10, rose 5 percent on Tuesday and was the Dow’s
Stock indexes traded flat until the National Association of
Realtors reported that Americans bought more previously owned houses in April, a
hopeful sign for the sluggish housing market.
“Existing home sales is one of the most important indicators
for the housing market,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at the
brokerage BTIG. “The improvement in today’s data, while not spectacular, is
Sales rose 3.4 percent last month to an annual rate of 4.62
million, more than economists had predicted. The median price rose to $177,400,
a jump of 10 percent over the past year.
Homebuilders including PulteGroup and Lennar shot up after
In other trading, the Standard Poor’s 500 index rose 7
points to 1,323. Bank stocks led the SP 500′s industry groups. The Nasdaq
composite index, which had its biggest gain of the year on Monday, rose 18
points Tuesday to 2,855.
Facebook stock kept sliding, dropping 4 percent to $32.68.
The social networking company’s stock has fizzled since its long-awaited initial
public offering last week at $38. Facebook sank 11 percent on Monday, even as
the rest of the stock market rallied.
Among stocks making big moves:
- Urban Outfitters jumped 6 percent, the biggest gain in the
SP 500. The retailer posted earnings late Monday that surpassed Wall Street
analysts’ expectations on record sales.
- Benihana soared 21 percent after the restaurant company
agreed to be taken private.
- Ralph Lauren rose 2 percent. The clothing company’s
quarterly earnings soared 29 percent, helped by strong sales and a lower tax
rate. The company doubled its dividend to 40 cents per share.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)