U.S. stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are in positive territory this morning as optimism about the housing market has returned.
The nation’s second-largest home improvement chain, Lowe’s (LOW), posted a 22% decline in first-quarter earnings, but still beat Wall Street’s expectations. The North Carolina-based company reported earnings of $0.32/share as compared to the $0.26/share forecast by analysts. As for the future, Lowe’s is targeting a projected profit of nearly $1.25/share, whereas analysts are projecting $1.11/share, reports Mark Clothier of Bloomberg.
This news helped send the SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB) up nearly 4% in intraday trading.
The financial sector was praised with some good news as many analysts upgraded and released positive comments regarding Bank of America (BAC), sending the Financial Select SPDR (XLF) up about 4% in morning trading. BAC is 5.8%.
The auto industry is still seeing more disagreement. With less than two weeks remaining before the June 1 deadline of a government-ordered restructuring plan, General Motors (GM) and the UAW are not in agreement about GM’s decision to close 16 plants and import more vehicles from foreign nations.
Despite weak demand, oil rose to a hair above $58/barrel. Some believe that attacks on Nigerian oil facilities helped support prices, afterall the fundamentals of crude oil look fairly gloomy. This spike in crude sent United States Oil (USO) up 3% in morning trading.
Globally speaking, there was a lot of action going on in India. The nation’s benchmark stock index soared a whopping 17% , its bonds rose and its currency, the rupee, gained some ground on the U.S. dollar. Share trading came to a halt after the Sensex breached a daily limit set by regulators. This rally was fueled after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress Party won nationwide elections. This victory set the scene for long-delayed economic reforms in the nation. The WisdomTree India Earnings (EPI) jumped 22% in morning trading.
Overall, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 gained about 2%, while the Nasdaq jumped about 1% in morning trading.
Kevin Grewal contributed to this article.
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