Dow +85.73 (+0.67%)
Nasdaq +23.71 (+0.99%)
S&P 500 +8.89 (+0.64%)
News That Moved the Market
Financials, U.S. Dollar, and Ford Support Rally. A late rally squeezed shorts Thursday. The U.S. dollar jumped 1.0% against a basket of currencies, pushing oil $2.22 lower to $116.09. Insurer Aflac (AFL, +4.0%) reported a 14% increase in income and upped its outlook for the year. Ford (F, +11.7%) reported an unexpected profit, and said its restructuring plan is ahead of schedule. Rival GM (GM, +5.6%) jumped on the news as well. Digesting all the news, investors' sentiment turned positive in the afternoon prompting a buying spree. Gains however, could be given back Friday, as the market reacted negatively to Microsoft's (MSFT, +1.1% day; -4.5% A.H.) earnings report (see below) in the after hours session.
Mixed Economic Data. Durable goods increased 1.5%, excluding transportations, which was ahead of expectations. New home sales fell 8.5%, fueling a minor sell-off in the morning. For the month, sales totaled 526,000 homes, well below economists' estimates of 580,000.
Microsoft Falls in A.H. Microsoft's (MSFT, +1.1% day; -4.5% A.H.) profits fell 11%, which were enough to beat estimates, but fell short of investors' expectations. The company said sales of Windows fell 24% and online advertising slumped to the low end of projections, two pieces of data that seemed to contrast Intel's (INTC, +0.6%) and IBM's (IBM, +0.5%) quarterly report.
Quick Tics: Starbucks (SBUX, -10.4%) cut its outlook, blaming a weak consumer environment…American Express (AXP, +1.8% day; +4.2% A.H.) beat estimates after posting higher profits in overseas markets.
Notable Earnings (Full List Here):
Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT) Before Open
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (HMC) Before Open
10:00 AM: Consumer Sentiment