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The Markets Now: Stocks Remain Higher After Pending Home Sales Report


Plus, the Dallas Fed reports manufacturing activity in Texas deteriorated in April.

Stocks continued to gain today after it was reported that pending home sales increased in March. Additionally, the Dallas Fed reported that manufacturing activity in Texas worsened in April. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) increased 0.57% to 14,796.24. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) climbed 0.67% to 1,592.91, and the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) rose 0.98% to 3,311.36.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the US Department of Commerce stated today in its Personal Income and Outlays Report for March that personal income increased by $30.9 billion, or 0.2%, and disposable personal income increased $21 billion, or 0.2%. Also, real disposable income increased 0.3% and real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.3%. Read the press release here.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported today in its Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey that the General Business Activity Index decreased from 7.4 in March to -15.6 in April, its lowest level since July 2012. A reading below zero indicates contraction or a worsening in business activity or outlook. The production index fell from 9.9 in March to -0.5 in April. Read the full report here.

The National Association of Realtors reported today that its Pending Home Sales Index, which measures contract signings for home sales, increased 1.5% month-over-month to 105.7 in March. Year-over-year, the index has increased 7% from 98.8. Pending home sales have exceeded levels from the prior year for the past 23 months. Read the press release here.

The US Treasury announced today that it will auction $30 billion worth of 4-week Treasury bills tomorrow. The Treasury also announced today that it auctioned $29 billion worth of 3-month Treasury bills with a rate of 0.050% and with a bid-to-cover ratio of 4.86, and $24 billion worth of 6-month Treasury bills with a rate of 0.080% and with a bid-to-cover ratio of 5.43.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) jumped 3.34% to $431.16. Apple has begun the process of launching its first ever debt sale to help fund a $100 billion capital return program for shareholders. Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) will lead the process.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) rose 2.20% to $32.49. Last week Microsoft issued $1.95 billion worth of dollar denominated debt with a weighted average coupon of 2.41%. Five months earlier, it offered similar bonds with a 2.33% rate, with interest rates that were around the same.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) climbed 2.92% to $22.01. The bank has hired Michele A. Davis to head its corporate communications department. Ms. Davis previously worked as a partner at public relations firm Brunswick Group, which advised Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson during the financial crisis. Her experience also includes counseling BP (NYSE:BP) after its 2010 oil spill.

Moody's Corporation (NYSE:MCO) spiked 8.82% to $59.98. Standard & Poor's, Moody's, and Morgan Stanley announced on Friday that they settled lawsuits with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and King County, Washington. The two plaintiffs sued the rating agencies in 2008 and 2009 for allegedly misleading them on two structured investment vehicles called Cheyne and Rhinebridge by inflating their ratings.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) rose 3.38% to $45.57.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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