The Dow closed up +74.39 (+0.58%) at 13,001.56. The S&P 500 and Russell 2000 also closed up, but Nasdaq just didn’t make it higher today.
There were two reports released early today showing the housing recovery is still on shaky ground. S&P/Case-Shiller reported another decline for home prices in February, and the U.S. Census reported that new-home sales dropped 7.1% in March.
Apple, the world’s most valuable company, reported earnings after the market closed. Shares of the iPhone and iPad maker have been struggling lately finishing Tuesday 13% lower since hitting an all-time high earlier this month. Apple stock has spiked in after-hours trading after Apple’s fiscal second-quarter earnings results blew past Wall Street’s expectations. The company posted $39.2 billion in sales, a nearly 60% increase from last year, while earnings nearly doubled to $11.6 billion or $12.30 a share, from $6 billion, or $6.40 per share, a year earlier. That also outpaced Wall Street’s target of $10.04 a share.
European stocks closed higher and Asian markets ended mixed.
Home prices hit yet another post-bubble low, according to the February reading of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Prices were down 3.49% from a year earlier, at their lowest level since November 2002. The data came in slightly worse than the 3.40% annual decline expected by economists.
The U.S. Census reported that new-home sales dropped 7.1% in March to an annual rate of 328,000. Economists were expecting sales to come in at an annual pace of 318,000.
The March Consumer Confidence Index, which speaks to the public’s degree of optimism, fell to 69.2 in April, from 70.2 the previous month. Economists were expecting a reading of 69.5.
In addition to AT&T and 3M, Dow component United Technologies (UTX) also posted a better-than-forecast rise in earnings.
IBM (IBM) boosted its quarterly dividend 13% to 85 cents per share, marking the 17th straight year of increases. The company’s board also approved a $7 billion share buyback program.
The dollar fell against the euro and British pound, but rose versus the Japanese yen.
Oil for June delivery was up 44 cents to settle at $103.55 a barrel.
Gold futures for June rose $11.20 to settle at $1,643.80 an ounce.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up slightly to 1.96% from 1.93% late Monday.
Tomorrow, before the open, notable stocks expected to report earnings include XRS, ERIC, HOG, MDP, SAP, UMBF, ATI, AVX, BA, BKU, CFR, DAL, EGN, FMBI, GD, GLW, HCBK, HES, LCC, LCRY, MOLX, MSI, MWV, PX, RES, ROK, SLAB, SO, TEL, WLP, AN, CAT, CRS, TDY, TKR, NEE, NS, AVY, CNH, LLY, ATMI, GIB, MKTX, NDAQ, NOC, ST, TMO, TUP, DHX, NOV, KFN, NLSN, GSK, MNI, UMC, JNY, S, WYN, LO, DBD, HST, ZIP, ABB, CVE, DPS, MSA, NOR, OC, PAG, SIX, CBZ, GNC, NWE, ECA, DAN, ROC, CWEI, ICON, LAD, LL, MDCO, TX, VMED, and CS.
New High of the Day – Herbalife (HLF).