Stocks rallied for yet another day on Tuesday in the absence of any significant domestic economic news, with the Dow and the S&P 500 both breaking records to close yet another trading session.
Abroad, the reserve bank of Australia became one in a growing line of banks to cut interest rates to record lows, while the economically troubled country of Portugal sold 3 billion euros worth of a 10-year bond offering that will allow it to withdraw from its bailout plan on time while gaining access to European Central Bank debt support.
The news from Portugal, combined with better than anticipated numbers from German manufacturing sent European shares up for the day.
The S&P hit a new intraday high of 1,626.03, and closed for the third straight day on a new record at 1,625.96, a gain of 0.52 percent. Services figured prominently into Tuesday’s S&P activity, with Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) up 6.31 percent to close at $52.06 per share, while DIRECTV Inc. (DTV) was up 6.71 percent to $61.85 per share after the company’s promising earnings report was released during premarket trading, and apparel retailer Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) was up 4.59 percent to $43.56.
Meanwhile FedEx Corporation (FDX) was up 3.34 percent to close at $99.34 per share, while the ubiquitous drug/convenience store Walgreen Co. (WAG) was up 2.85 percent to $49.20 per share.
The Dow also had a record-breaking day, closing at 15,056.20 points, an advance of 0.58 percent and its first ever close above the 15,000 mark. Gainers were led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) who jumped nearly 2 percent to $49.14 as shareholder pressure to force controversial CEO/Chairman of the Board Jaime Dimon to give up one of his jobs. Construction machinery manufacturer Caterpillar (CAT) was up 2.49 percent to $89.77 per share as the company proceeds with its $1 billion buyback of stock this quarter after an underwhelming earnings report.
Chemicals company E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DD) was up 1.48 percent to $54.69, while Verizon Communications (VZ) was up 1.53 percent to $52.85 per share, with Coca-Cola (KO), Disney (DIS), and Bank of America (BAC), all of whom had gained over one percent on the day.
The Nasdaq closed at 3,396.63 points, a 0.11 percent gain, with a variety of impressive leaps for, among others, Latin American e-commerce giant Mercadolibre (MELI), up 18.64 percent to $123.33 after a promising earnings report that showed solid continued growth despite missing expectations, while business software and services provider Interactive Intelligence (ININ) shot up 18.62 percent to $49.82 after Dougherty & Company rated the company’s shares a buy.
Fossil Inc. (FOSL) was up nearly 9 percent to $107.82, while Kraft Foods had gained 2.63 percent to close at $54.79 per share.
For all the day’s gains, however, the Nasdaq was actually held back by Aruba Networks (ARUN), whose shares tanked by 22.80 percent to close at $17.02 after the company reported earnings and cut its guidance almost in half for the rest of the year.
Other tech stocks dragged as well, including Apple (AAPL), down almost half a percent to $458.46 per share, Blackberry (BBRY) down 4.72 percent to $14.84 per share, Cisco (CSCO), Microsoft (MSFT), and Facebook (FB) all losing on the day as well. Shares for First Solar (FSLR) tanked nearly 9 percent to close at $43.46 per share after the company reported earnings yesterday evening.
Wednesday will see earnings reports from the Walt Disney Company (DIS), Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), Whole Foods Market (WFM), Marathon Oil (MRO), and Symantec Corp. (SYMC).