FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
The broad S&P 500 closed at a fresh record high on Tuesday as traders cheered upbeat euro news and data, but volume remained light.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 69.2 points, or 0.42%, to 16675, the S&P 500 advanced 11.4 points, or 0.6%, to 1912 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 51.3 points, or 1.2%, to 4237.
The broad S&P 500 capped last week by logging a record closing high -- the eleventh of the year. However, volume was light ahead of Monday's Memorial Day holiday in the U.S., leading some to question the conviction of this leg higher.
The shortened trading week kicked off on a high note Tuesday as traders digested results from European Union elections over the long weekend. Several of the eurozone's largest economies, including Germany, France Italy and Spain, all voted for members of parliament. There were concerns that citizens tired of austerity and bailouts that have come to define the currency bloc would vote for euro-sceptic alternative parties. However, the results pointed to stability.
"The results from the European elections suggest alternative and euro-sceptic parties won 30% of the Europe-wide vote, an increase from 20% in the previous election.," analysts at Barclays wrote in a note to clients. "Despite the increased support for these parties, we do not expect the election to trigger any major change in policy."
On the American front, there are several key economic reports due out.
The Commerce Department said durable goods orders rose 0.8% in April from the month before, easily beating estimates of a 0.5% dip. Excluding the transportation segment, orders for long-lasting goods rose 0.1%, compared to expectations they would remain unchanged. The data are closely watched because they provide a broad-based view of economic activity at the start of the second quarter.
Meanwhile, home prices in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas rose 0.9% in March from the month prior on a non-seasonally-adjusted basis, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller report. The increase was more than the 0.2% rise Wall Street anticipated for the month. Meanwhile, prices were up 12.4% from the same month in the year prior, also beating estimates of an 11.8% increase. The measure is a lagging indicator, but provides a detailed look at how the housing market began recovering from a particularly harsh winter.
Lastly, the Conference Board’s gauge of consumer confidence rose to 83 in May, matching views, from 81.7 the month prior.
On the corporate front, Pfizer (PFE) halted its bid to buy British rival AstraZeneca (AZN), which would have been one of the world's biggest-ever acquisitions. Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC) said Tuesday it proposed a takeover of Hillshire Brands (HSH) in an all-cash deal valued at $6.4 billion, or $45 per share.
Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 25 cents, or 0.25%, to $104.09 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.41% to $3.01 a gallon. Gold dropped $9.50, or 0.74%, to $1,282 a troy ounce.