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The Markets Now: Stocks Pare Earlier Losses and Continue to Climb Higher


Bank stocks such as Citigroup and Bank of America saw strong gains today.

After opening slightly lower, stocks have turned around and continued adding to their gains. While there have been earnings reports out today, little economic data was released. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) decreased 0.09% to 15,069.05. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) climbed 0.25% to 1,629.99, and the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) rose 0.39% to 3,410.01.

Today the Mortgage Bankers Association released the results for its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ended May 3. Its Mortgage Composite Index, which measures mortgage loan applications volume, increased a seasonally adjusted 7% week-over-week. The Refinance Index increased 8% week-over-week, and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3%. Read the press release here.

The Energy Information Administration, or EIA, released its Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the week ended May 3. It reported that US commercial crude inventories, excluding the inventory in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased 0.2 million barrels to 395.5 million, which is above average for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories decreased 0.9 million barrels week-over-week, and distillate fuel inventories increased 1.8 million barrels week-over-week. Read the press release here.

The US Treasury began its auction of 10-year Treasury notes at 1 p.m. EDT today.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) increased 1.67% to $13.12. The bank's shareholders today approved a nonbinding proxy proposal for Bank of America's executive compensation. Shareholders also supported the existing board of directors. CEO Brian Moynihan will receive $12 million in cash and equity.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) climbed 2.22% to $49.18.

JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) jumped 8.66% to $17.82. Yesterday, the department store chain reported preliminary first-quarter figures, which showed that sales fell 16% to $2.64 billion. In the prior-year quarter, sales declined 20%.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) spiked 6.92% to $22.81. The iron ore miner has maintained its $0.15 per share quarterly dividend after slashing its dividend from $0.625 to $0.15 earlier this year.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX) rose 2.66% to $32.39.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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