Market News: Carnival, Cisco Systems, International Business Machines


The stock markets in the United States rebounded today after economic data showed that consumer confidence climbed.

Data from the Conference Board index showed that U.S. consumer confidence increased from 78.3% last month to 82.3% in March. Economists polled by Bloomberg has an average estimate of 78.5% this month.

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In a separate report, the purchases of new homes in the U.S. for the month of February declined to the lowest level in five months, an indication that it will take longer for the housing industry to recover from the impact of the severe weather conditions this winter.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities showed that home prices increased 13.2% last January compared in the same month last year. The gain was the lowest since August.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Curtis Holden, a senior investment office at Tanglewood Wealth Management commented, “Things don’t look spectacular here, but they look okay. The U.S. economy seemed to have cooled off from the pace it’s on toward the end of last year. There may be a little relief recently that things may be stable here.”

On the other hand, Tom Wirth, a senior investment officer at Chemung Canal Trust Co. opined that “the market is discounting the first quarter.” He added, “They know the weather is going to materially impact first-quarter GDP. It’s just wait and see until we see if there is truly accelerating strength in the economy.”

Meanwhile, Charles Plosser, president of the Federal Bank of Philadelphia said that the central bank aims to return to its normal policy, and he believes that it will not change its position on the rate increase during an interview with CNBC.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,371.35 (+0.58%)
  • S&P 500- 1,865.86 (+0.45 %)
  • NASDAQ- 4,234.27 (+0.19%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,179.44 (+0.10%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,096.64 (+1.43%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,604.89 (+1.30%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,338.40 (+1.63%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,429.19 (-0.36%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 21,732.32 (-0.52%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,174.44 (-0.10%)

Stocks in Focus

Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) dropped almost 5% to $38.02 per share after the largest cruise line operator worldwide reported a net loss of $15 million or $0.02 loss per diluted share for the first quarter.  The company forecasted that it will be able to deliver adjusted earnings in the range of $1.50 to $1.70 per share for the fiscal 2014.

The stock price of Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) gained more than 3% to $22.34 per share today. The company announced yesterday that it will invest $1 billion to build a “network of clouds” called Intercloud. According to the networking giant, Intercloud will be based on its Unified Computing System with a combination of servers, storage and networking for data centers, and it will deliver the service through a network of partners.

The shares of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) rose more than 3% to $195.07 per share. The company partnered with Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) to develop new hybrid cloud location service that would help businesses discover deeper connections with customers, their geography, and networks to deliver more personalized service and relevant experience.