Stock markets in the United States ended the trading week higher, primarily propelled by data that showed an increase in purchases of new homes last month.
The Department of Commerce reported that sales of new homes increased to a seasonally annual rate of 433,000 in April, an increase of 6.4% from the revised rate of 407,000 in March. According to the agency, the median sales price of new homes sold last month was $275,800, and the average sales price was $320,100. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecasted that the new home sales would increase to 425,000 in April.
Yesterday, Markit Economics reported that the U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) rose to 56.2% in May from 54.4% last month, an indication that the industry will help boost the country’s GDP in the second quarter.
Commenting on the trend of the markets, Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, told Bloomberg, “The equity market is on autopilot with an upward bias. Housing adds to consumer confidence, net worth and consumer spending. That is positive for sentiment and should be a positive for the broader markets.”
- Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,605.30 (+0.38%)
- S&P 500- 1,900.51 (+0.42 %)
- NASDAQ- 4,185.81 (+0.76%)
- Russell 2000- 1,126.10 (+1.10%)
- EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,203.28 (+0.49%)
- FTSE 100 Index- 6,815.75 (-0.07%)
- Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,768.01 (+0.48%)
- Nikkei 225- 14,462.17 (+0.87%)
- Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,965.86 (+0.05%)
- Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,148.14 (+0.80%)
Stocks in Focus
The stock price of Aeropostale Inc (NYSE:ARO) declined 24% to $3.43 per share after Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger said that she thinks the retailer is a “structurally challenged business in decline” and expects “going concern issues in 2015 / 2016.” In addition, she said Aeropostale’s competitive position in the teen retail space is the weakest and that it continues to lose market share to cheap fashion retailers and other teen retailers.
Shares of Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARUN) fell almost 11% to $17.91 per share after the company reported a gross margin of 70.5% for the third quarter, which is lower than the 72.3% gross margin expected by analysts. The wireless network equipment maker’s earnings of 20 cents per share meet consensus estimates.
Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) gained more than 6% to $33.74 per share after reporting second quarter earnings of 88 cents per share that meet consensus estimates. The company also said that it cut as many as 16,000 additional jobs as it continues to re-engineer its workforce to become more competitive and meet its objective.