Strong Earnings and Rising Home Prices Send Stocks Higher: Market Recap

Markets closed up on Tuesday.

DJIA: +0.14% to 14,839.80 S&P 500: +0.25% to 1,597.57 NASDAQ: +0.66% to 3,328.79
Gold: +$4.70 to $1,472.10 per ounce Oil: -$1.51 to $92.99 per barrel U.S. 10-Year: +0.002 points to 1.673%

Employment Costs: Good for Employers, Bad for Workers: The Employment Cost Index is a closely watched gauge as it indicates whether or not the job market will contribute to inflation. As the Labor Department reported Tuesday, employment expenses grew in a slow pace in the first quarter, a sign that the purchasing power of the American consumer remained strong during the three-month-period… (Read more.)

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U.S. Housing Market: Still in Recovery Mode? “Despite some recent mixed economic reports for March, housing continues to be one of the brighter spots in the economy,” David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, noted in a press release announcing the gains made by the housing market last month. Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, a leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed average home prices increased 8.6 percent and 9.3 percent for the 10- and 20-City Composites, respectively, in the 12 months ending in February 2013… (Read more.)

Is the Retail Sector Making Up Lost Ground? March brought a disappointing reading of the strength of the retail sector, and following several weeks of declines recorded by both the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Retail Chain Store Sales Index and Redbook’s weekly measure of retail sales, concerns for the health of the American consumer began to grow among economists. But this week, both gauges took back some lost territory… (Read more.)

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

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed the day up nearly 3 percent after news circulated that the company will be issuing $17 billion in corporate bonds.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) closed the day up 2.3 percent after reporting financial results. Revenue increased 3.7 percent to $9.5 billion, missing estimates for $9.6 billion. Adjusted earnings increased 12 percent to $1.50, beating estimates for $1.39… (Read more.)

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) closed the day up 7.4 percent. The electronics retailer announced that it has agreed to sell 50 percent of its interest in Best Buy Europe, a joint venture it started with Carphone Warehouse Group in 2008. Best buy comments that “the sale price of 500 million pounds (approximately $775 million as of April 29, 2013) is comprised of 420 million pounds in cash and 80 million pounds in CPW stock subject to a 12-month lock-up restriction.”

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Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) fell as much as 3.5 percent in pre-market trading on Tuesday after the biopharmaceutical company released first-quarter financial results that fell short of analyst expectations. Reported revenues decreased 9 percent on the year to $13.5 billion, missing estimates of $14.0 billion. Adjusted earnings fell 5 percent to $0.54 per share, missing estimates of $0.56… (Read more.)

Nuance Communications (NASDAQ:NUAN) closed the day down 18.3 percent after reporting financial results that fell short of analyst expectations. Revenue rose 24 percent on the year to $484 million, but missed expectations for $516.5 million. Adjusted earnings decreased 21 percent to $0.34 per share, and missed expectations for $0.40 per share… (Read more.)

UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) closed the day up 6 percent after reporting first-quarter operating results. The bank reported pre-tax adjusted group profit of 1.9 billion CHF ($2.03 billion). Adjusted group revenues climbed 1.4 billion CHF ($1.5 billion) to 8.0 billion CHF ($8.55 billion), driven by higher client activity. Costs fell 1.7 billion CHF ($1.82 billion) to 6.1 billion CHF ($6.52 billion) on lower litigation and regulatory charges… (Read more.)

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