Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wall Street Rallies On Consumer Confidence Data, Apple Jumps

. Tuesday, May 26, 2009

By stockOzone team

US stocks gained on Tuesday after investors cheered better than expected consumer confidence data.The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 196.17 points or 2.37% to finish at 8,473.49. The S&P 500 gained 23.33 points or 2.63% to end at 910.33. The Nasdaq Composite increased 58.42 points or 3.45% to 1,750.43. The Conference Board on Tuesday said that its index of consumer confidence for May jumped to 54.9, the highest reading since September, from 40.8 in April. Economists expected a reading of 42.6.

Investors shrugged off early concerns about the heightened geopolitical uncertainty following North Korean tests. North Korea on Tuesday test-fired two missiles, just a day after nuclear test. Earlier, U.N. Security Council condemned the country's nuclear test as a "clear violation" of international bans.

Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller National Home Price index reported that home prices tumbled by 19.1% in the first quarter compared to the prior year quarter, the largest drop in its 21-year history.

Shares of financials rallied. J.P Morgan (NYSE: JPM) soared $2.13 or 6.19% to $6.19. American Express (NYSE: AXP) surged $1.17 or 5% to $24.57. Citigroup (NYSE: C) rose 10 cents or 2.72% to $3.77. Wells Fargo & Co.(NYSE: WFC) jumped $1.34 or 5.51% to $25.65.

However, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) bucked the trend and finished down 9 cents or 0.81% at $10.98.

Technology shares gained. IBM (NYSE: IBM) rose $3.13 or 3.07% to $105.02. Shares of software giant Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) jumped 59 cents or 2.99% to $20.34.Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) rallied $8.28 or 6.76% to $130.78. Morgan Stanley analyst Kathryn Huberty on Tuesday upgraded Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares to overweight from equal weight and raised her target price on the stock to $180 from $105.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) gained $1.23 or 2.86% to $35.

Shares of the largest US aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) rallied 41 cents or 4.63% to $9.27.

Energy stocks finished up. Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) increased 98 cents or 1.42% to $69.81. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) climbed $1.22 or 1.89% to $65.66.

McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) leaped $1.76 or 3.08% to $58.84.

Shares of largest home improvement retailer The Home Depot (NYSE: HD) advanced 94 cents or 4.11% to $23.80.

Last week, US stock indices finished with mild weekly gains after Standard & Poor's cut its outlook on Britain to negative from stable fueling fears that the United States too is at risk of losing its AAA credit rating.

European stocks settled with gains. The UK FTSE rose 46.43 points or 1.06% to 4,411.72. The German DAX and French CAC increased 1.37% and 1.05% respectively.

Asian stocks finished with losses. The Nikkei 225 fell 38.34 points or 0.41% to 9,225.81. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong slipped 136.97 points or 0.80% to 17,062.52.

NYMEX crude oil for May delivery climbed 8 cents or 1.3% to $62.45 a barrel.

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the stocks discussed here.

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