STOCKS DO NOTHING: Here's what you need to know

Stocks barely held on to gains after a record-setting day for the Nasdaq. The S&P 500 came within seven points of its intraday high of 2,134.72, and just two points shy of its closing high of 2,130.82.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 18,136.43, +16.65, (0.09%)
  • S&P 500: 2,123.62, +0.77, (0.04%)
  • Nasdaq: 5,155.67, +1.69, (0.03%)

And now, the top stories on Tuesday:

  1. There was plenty of economic data. Durable goods orders fell 1.8% in May, more than the 1% drop economists expected. Durable goods orders excluding aircraft and defence orders, or “core” orders, rose 0.4% in May, a bit less than expected. Capital Economics’ Paul Ashworth wrote in a note to clients that the drop was largely because of a big 35.3% month-over-month drop in “the notoriously volatile aircraft orders component.”
  2. We got two pieces of housing data: Home prices rose 0.3% in April, lower than Bloomberg’s consensus forecast for a 0.5% jump, according to the latest report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. “The renewed uptrend in home prices is persisting,” UBS’ Maury Harris wrote in a client note.
  3. And, new home sales jumped 2.2% month-over-month to an annual rate of 546,000 — the highest level since February 2008. Harris wrote, “the new home sales data are notoriously volatile, but the recent strength echoes that of homebuilder confidence, mortgage applications, and other sales measures.”
  4. US manufacturing PMI fell to the lowest level since October 2013 in June, according to a preliminary reading. Markit’s flash manufacturing PMI unexpectedly fell to 53.4 , versus expectations for a reading of 54.1.
  5. Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Olive Garden, is splitting itself. It announced the sale of real estate assets including about 430 restaurants to form a Real Estate Investment Trust. The company also reported fourth quarter sales of $US1.88 billion (versus $US1.87 billion expected) and adjusted earnings per share of $US1.08 (versus $US0.93 expected.)
  6. BlackBerry reported a quarterly loss worse than analysts expected, and shares fell about 3%. First-quarter earnings came in at $US0.05 ($US0.04 expected,) and sales came in at $US658 million ($US680 million expected.) Smartphone sales have been in decline, and the company is refocusing on its software segment. Smartphone sales fell to $US263 million from $US379 million year-over-year. But software sales improved, coming in at $US137 million versus $US37 million in the previous quarter.
  7. Facebook shares rallied to a new all-time high, and the company’s market cap toppled Wal-Mart’s from the top 10. Shares rose more than 3% to as high as $US87.91, and the company is now worth $US246 billion.

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