REUTERS/Brendan McDermidExecutive Floor Governor Patrick Murphy (2nd R) waits for the opening of Oi SA during its debut on the New York Stock Exchange April 29, 2014.
Markets rallied today.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,534.7 (+85.9, +0.5%)
- S&P 500: 1,878.2 (+8.8, +0.4%)
- Nasdaq: 4,104.1, (+29.9, +0.7%)
And now the top stories:
- The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. home price index climbed by 0.76% month over month in February, which reflects a 12.86% year-over-year gain. The numbers were right in line with economists’ expectations. Here’s S&P’s David Blitzer: “The annual rates cooled the most we’ve seen in some time. The three California cities and Las Vegas have the strongest increases over the last 12 months as the West continues to lead. Denver and Dallas remain the only cities which have reached new post-crisis price peaks. The Northeast with New York, Washington and Boston are seeing some of the slowest year-over-year gains. However, even there prices are above their levels of early 2013. On a month-to-month basis, there is clear weakness. Seasonally adjusted data show prices rose in 19 cities, but a majority at a slower pace than in January.”
- The modest gains actually belie the more significant weakness in the numbers, warns Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Sheperdson. “The CS data do not properly account for shifts in the share of foreclosure sales, which typically take place at much lower prices than regular sales,” he wrote. “We think the underlying trend in home prices already is much weaker than CS suggests; they are probably falling slightly, seasonally adjusted.”
- The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence slipped to 82.3 in April from 83.9 in March. Economists were expecting an 83.2 reading. The percentage of respondents who said jobs were “plentiful” fell to 12.9% from 13.8%, while the percentage saying jobs were “hard to get” climbed to 32.5% from 31.4%. “However, their expectations regarding the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market held steady,” noted the Conference Board’s Lynn Franco. “Thus, while sentiment regarding current conditions may have slipped a bit, consumers do not foresee the economy, or the labor market, losing the momentum that has been building up over the past several months.”
- Twitter and Ebay release their Q1 financial results after the closing bell. Follow their announcements live at BusinessInsider.com.