Tim Cook’s Tax Testimony and Jamie Dimon Keeps Two Titles: Market Recap

Markets advanced on Tuesday afternoon and extended record highs following a speech by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who advocates ongoing bond purchases. Tomorrow, Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify before Congress on the U.S. economic outlook, and the minutes from the last FOMC meeting will be released.

DJIA: +0.34% to 15,387.60 S&P 500: +0.17% to 1,669.16 NASDAQ: +0.16% to 3,502.12
Gold: -$9.70 to $1,374.40 per ounce Oil: -$0.55 to $96.16 per barrel U.S. 10-Year: -0.038 to 1.926%

Lawsuits Speak Louder Than Words: IRS Gets An Earful: Lawsuits have begun to punctuate the chorus of voices speaking out against the IRS. This week, a government-watchdog group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and an advocacy group called the NorCal Tea Party Patriots each filed a suit against the IRS, demanding reparation and change for the targeting behavior… (Read more.)

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How Much Money Do Americans Need to Make Ends Meet? The current federal poverty level for a family of four is only $23,550 a year, but Americans across the nation say they need more than double that just to make ends meet. On average, Americans feel they need $58,000 just to get by, according to Gallup’s latest poll on perceptions of annual income and necessity…. (Read more.)

Was Printing Money Really the Fed’s Best Option? “Given that inflation is trending down and the policy rate remains near zero, what can monetary policy do?” James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, asked rhetorically in a presentation at the Goethe University Frankfurt on Tuesday. “This has been the key question in central banking since 2008.” (Read more.)

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:

Dimon Is Staying in Power: Despite the lack of oversight that contributed to JPMorgan Chase’s (NYSE:JPM) $6.2-billion loss from failed derivative trades last year, shareholders do not want Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Jamie Dimon to quit — which is what many worried he would do if stripped of the title of chairman. But those concerned shareholders can shelve their fears, at least for the time being; the vote that sought to separate the two powerful positions failed… (Read more.)

Senate Hearing: The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations came down hard on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) during a hearing in Washington, accusing the iPhone maker of avoiding U.S. tax payments through a loophole allowing them to keep money and intellectual property rights offshore… (Read more.)

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Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) stock closed the day down 4.36 percent after reporting “better-than-expected” first-quarter results ahead of the bell. The company’s expectations are apparently a little out of line with analyst expectations, as non-GAAP earnings of $0.32 per share beat the average estimate of $0.25 per share, but revenue of $9.38 billion missed the average estimate of $10.64 billion. Comparable store sales declined 1.3 percent globally, although online sales in the U.S. were up 16.3 percent… (Read more.)

Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) stock closed the day down 4.28 percent after the company lowered its profit forecast for the second half of 2013. Unsurprisingly, a number of “mishaps” have hurt margins. The company is expecting full-year profit in a range between $1.45 and $1.65 per share, down from a range between $1.80 and $2.10 per share. Analysts were forecasting $1.99 per share.

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Home Depot (NYSE:HD) stock closed the day up 2.54 percent after reporting first-quarter results that were unanimously better than expected. Sales climbed 7.4 percent on the year to $19.1 billion with comparable-store sales up 4.3 percent. Net earnings increased 22.1 percent on the year to $0.83 per diluted share. Home Depot also increased its sales guidance, and now expects fiscal 2013 sales to increase 2.8 percent with 4.0 percent comparable-store sales growth. Diluted earnings for the year are expected to grow 17 percent to $3.52 per share.

Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) stock closed the day down 2.7 percent after reporting first-quarter fiscal 2014 results. Total net sales increased 14 percent to $648 million, missing the average estimate of $655 million. Earnings per diluted share of $0.32 beat the average estimate of $0.29 per share. Comparable retail segment net sales increased 9 percent. Comparable retail segment net sales increased 44 percent at Free People, 8 percent at Anthropologie and 6 percent at Urban Outfitters. Wholesale segment net sales rose 16 percent.

Don’t Miss: Was Printing Money Really the Fed’s Best Option?

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