Americans Love the Economy and the Dow Hits a Record High: Market Recap

U.S. stocks advanced on Tuesday afternoon and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 15,000 for the first time in its history. Gains were fueled by optimism surrounding central bank stimulus initiatives in Europe and Australia. At its meeting on May 7, the Board of Governors of the Royal Bank of Australia decided to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.75 percent, effective May 8. This is the seventh time the board has reduced the rate over the last 18 months.

DJIA: +0.58% to 15,056.20 S&P 500: +0.52% to 1,625.96 NASDAQ: +0.11% to 3,396.63
Gold: -$17.10 to $1,450.90 per ounce Oil: -$0.72 to $95.44 per barrel U.S. 10-Year: +0.021 to 1.780%

Will Happy Consumers Make Retail Look Good? “Americans are in phase two of the economic recovery. However, for many it just doesn’t feel that way,” noted Nielsen’s senior vice president of Global Consumer Insights, James Russo, in the firms most recent survey on global consumer sentiment… (Read more.)

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Americans Have Never Loved the Economy More: Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index climbed to -8 for the week ended May 4, matching the five-year weekly high set in February. The index in April also tied the five-year monthly best, with confidence among upper-income Americans breaking out of negative territory for the first time in five years… (Read more.)

Has the Job Market Recovery Shifted Into a Lower Gear? The view of the job market has been shaped by a series of slightly conflicting reports. Last week, data supplied by the Labor Department’s Employment Situation Report for April and the outplacement consultancy firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas gave some evidence that the labor market is moving away from recent weakness. But the movement is sluggish; the number of Americans who are out of work remained at 11.7 million — a sign of how stubbornly slow the recovery has been since the recession officially ended in mid-2009… (Read more.)

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

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) closed the day down 8.93 percent after reporting first-quarter financial results. Revenue rose 51.9 percent to $755, beating the mean estimate of $725.26 million. Adjusted earnings increased from -$0.08 to $0.69 per share on the year, but still fell short of the mean estimate of $0.75 per share.

Pandora (NYSE:P) closed the day down 5 percent after reporting April audience metrics. Listener hours increased 24 percent on the year to 1.31 billion, active listeners increased 35 percent to 70.1 million, and share of total U.S. radio listening increased from 5.95 percent to 7.33 percent.

American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) closed the day down 1.93 percent. The insurance company was slapped with a downgrade from Buy to Neutral from Goldman Sachs. The firm sees limited upside potential in the stock now that it has climbed more than 24 percent since the beginning of 2013. Shares closed Monday about 4.8 percent above the mean analyst price target.

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OfficeMax Inc. (NYSE:OMX) closed the day down 1.87 percent after reporting a special dividend of $1.50 per share alongside its first-quarter 2013 financial results. Reported sales declined 5.7 percent to $1.76 billion (down 4.3 percent on an adjusted basis), missing the mean estimate of $1.83 billion. Adjusted income fell 50 percent to $0.11 per share, missing the mean estimate of $0.23 per share.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) closed the day up 0.66 percent and climbed as much as 6.6 percent in post-market trading, breaking past its 52-week high of $19.51 per share.

Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO) announced on Tuesday that Paul Walsh will step down from the company’s board of directors at the September 2013 Annual General Meeting, and will retire from the company at the end of June in 2014. He will bee succeeded by Ivan Menezes, who is currently COO.

You can follow Dan on Twitter (@WscsDan) for the latest industry news.

Don’t Miss: Americans Have Never Loved the Economy More.