The markets charged upwards on Tuesday, bringing the S&P 500 just about two points shy of its record close of 1,565.15 despite a decline in home sales and worse than expected consumer confidence numbers. Buoying the markets was a strong increase in home prices and an strong increase in orders for durable goods.
At the close: DJIA: +0.77%, S&P 500: +0.78%, NASDAQ: +0.53%.
On the commodities front, WTI crude oil (NYSEARCA:USO) climbed 1.49 percent to $96.22 per barrel. The yield on the 10-year T-note fell 0.010 points to 1.910 percent. Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for June delivery, the most active contract, decreased $9.20 to close at $1,597.30 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for May edged 14 cents lower to finish at $28.70. Both precious metals continue to tread water as the Cyprus situation unfolds. Banks in the insolvent country will now stay closed until at least Thursday, in order to prepare capital controls and prevent a run on the banks. It has been more than a week since banks have opened.
Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stories:
A recall — being tantamount to admitting failure — is never a decision that a healthcare company wants to make, especially as lawsuits can stream in after and sales are likely to collapse. But Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), the world’s largest manufacturer of health-care products, was forced to recall 1.9 million glucose meters… (Read more.)
Analysts continue to express their concerns for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) future profitability even as the iPhone maker’s stock begins to etch out gains on the stock chart once more, surpassing the important psychological and technological benchmark known as the 50-day simple moving average last week. Hitting that level was an important step for the stock, even though it is still trading around that average, as it gave analysts a shard of evidence that shares may have finally reached bottom after their six-month decline… (Read more.)
In addition to huge sales declines and subsequent losses in Europe, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) is now being pressed in Asia as well, notably Japan. In a television interview, CEO Alan Mulally said that he and the company are concerned about the depreciation of the Japanese yen, which has put increased pressure on competition here in the U.S… (Read more.)
Warren Buffett and his company, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKB)(NYSE:BRKA), will become one of the 10 largest holders of Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) stock, the bank said in an announcement on Tuesday. The best part of the deal? Buffett acquired the shares more or less free of charge… (Read more.)
U.S. federal regulators proposed a $1.7 million fine on Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) on Monday as compensation for an oil leak in its Silvertip pipeline that put 1,500 barrels of crude into the Yellowstone River in 2011. Heavy rains and soil erosion were cited as the cause for the leak. Oil was found along a 70 mile stretch of the river and required a workforce of 1,000 people to clean up… (Read more.)
Nearly three years ago EU officials opened an antitrust probe against Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) based on concerns that the search giant was abusing its position by placing results for its own services ahead of the results for competitors. usan Athey, a professor of economics and a long-time Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) consultant, published a blog post on Tuesday that supports the anti-Google cause… (Read more.)