Strong Afternoon Trading Leads Dow to Solid Gains
The Dow closed strong today in end of day trading, gaining 225.48 points to finish up 1.31% 17,416.85. NASDAQ gained 45.42 points to close at 4,683.41, and the S&P 500 finished up 19.09 points in order to close at 2,021.25. In world markets, Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both fell just over 1% in a trend that was seen across Asia. Germany's DAX was up 0.25% to 10,737.87.
Strong Showing For Consumer Goods. Most of the Dow's gains were made in the consumer goods sector, which had a strong day due to the continued release of higher than expected earnings reports and rebounding US economy.
Energy Investors Remain Nervous.The energy sector continued to post losses due in part to continuing worries about the long-term stability of oil and natural gas, which investors fear may not have yet found a bottom. Light crude oil rebounded slightly to 44.58 per barrel, and natural gas was up a scant 0.26% to 2.73 per million BTUs, but both were volatile throughout the day. Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO), a domestic oil and gas producer, lead the race to the bottom of the energy sector with a disappointing drop of -6.48% to 30.73 per share.
Another Bad Day For Qualcomm, Yahoo! In tech, chip-maker Qualcomm Inc (QCOM) continued to struggle, posting losses of -10.27% to finish the day at 63.70. Search and media giant Yahoo! Inc (YHOO) also continued its fall, down -3.19% to 46.46, due to poor earnings and an abrupt split from overseas marketplace Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) which itself fell -8.78% to 89.81 for many of the same reasons.
A Few Moderate Losses. Food and sweets manufacturer Hershey Co (HSY) also had a down day, with a loss of -4.08% to finish at 103.29 after buying artisan beef jerky manufacturer KRAVE. Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) was down -5.87% to 114.14, and defense manufacturer Raytheon Co (RTN) lost -2.46% to end the day at 102.00.
Some Of Today's Winners include Varian Medical Systems Inc (VAR), rising 8.69% to 94.04, and home builder PulteGroup (PHM), which rose 6.03% to 21.82 per share. Both companies handily beat Q1 earnings expectations. Their respective sectors also rose this quarter, with Health Services up 12.75% and Consumer Durable Goods up 5.93% over the past three months.
T-Bills And Commodities Flat. 10-year Treasury notes also rose slightly, up 0.03% for a yield of 1.75%. The Bitcoin Composite Quote (XBT) was up 2.32% to $232.82 per coin. In commodities, gold held largely steady, posting small gains of $0.60 per troy ounce to finish at $1255.20, while corn rose 0.40% to $373.00 per bushel.