The U.S. equity markets closed today on a mixed note. Overall, relatively strong earnings have helped push markets toward five-year highs despite economic indicators that have come in all over place. Today, we learned that home prices rose, consumer confidence fell, and retail sales for January are off to a soft start.
At the close: DJIA: +0.52%, S&P 500: +0.55%, NASDAQ: -0.02%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed 1.07 percent to a fourth-month high of $97.47 per barrel. Precious metals were also up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing 0.55 percent to $1,664.10 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) climbing 1.98 percent to $31.39 per ounce. The yield on the 10-year T-Bill climbed 0.034 points to 1.996 percent.
After closing the regular session down 5.68 percent, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) surged as much as 7.21 percent in after-hours trading following its fourth-quarter report. Sales increased 22 percent to $21.27 billion and operating income increased 46 percent to $405 million. Net income decreased 45 percent to $97 million, or $0.21 per diluted share. Full-year net sales increased 27 percent to $61.09 billion for a net loss of $39 million, or $0.09 per diluted share.
Ford Motor (NYSE:F) dropped 4.64 percent on Tuesday following its fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 financial report. America’s second-largest automaker logged its highest quarterly pre-tax profit in over a decade — $1.7 billion, or $0.31 per share, a 55 percent year-over-year increase — but investors pulled back in light of an underwhelming forecast for 2013… (Read more.)