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The Markets Now: Stocks Mixed as the S&P Hits Another Record High


Plus, Yahoo benefits from its holdings in Asian partner companies.

Stocks have gained slightly today as the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) reached a new intraday record high for the fourth day in a row. Economic news has been light, but a few companies reported positive earnings. Also noteworthy, the Australian Central Bank has cut Australia's interest rates a quarter point to 2.75%, a record low. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) increased 0.31% to 15,015.96. The S&P 500 rose 0.27% to 1,621.94, and the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) fell 0.04% to 3,391.60.

The International Council of Shoppers reported today that its ICSC-Goldman Store Sales Index, which measures comparable store sales at major retail chains, fell 1% week-over-week for the week ending May 4. Year-over-year, the index has increased 2.4%.

Redbook Research reported today that its Johnson Redbook Index, which measures same-stores sales at chain stores, discounters, and department stores, increased 2.3% year-over-year for the week ending May 4 compared to a 2.8% last year. Redbook cited Easter occurring in March rather than April helped weaken the results of the past month.

The US Treasury auctioned $20 billion 4-week Treasury bills at a high yield of 0% and with a bid-to-cover ratio of 5.42. The Treasury has decreased the size of its debt offerings. The Treasury will also auction 3-year notes today at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors will report on the monthly change of consumer credit today at 3 p.m. EDT. In February, consumer credit increased $18.1 billion, the largest monthly increase in 13 years.

Societe Generale Group (EPA:GLE) jumped 5.68% to $30.14. France's second-largest bank reported a first-quarter net income of 364 million euros, or $476 million. The investment banking division's net income grew 41% to 494 million euros, but its global markets revenue declined 13% to 1.44 billion euros.

DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) spiked 6.11% to $61.50. The largest US satellite-television provider reported a first-quarter net income of $690 million, or $1.20 per share, compared to $731 million, or $1.07 per share, in the prior-year quarter. The company faced a $166 charge related to a Venezuelan currency devaluation in February. Revenue increased 8% year-over-year to $7.58 billion.

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) rose 3.38% to $26.02. Alibaba (HKG:1688) and Yahoo Japan (TYO:4689), two of Yahoo's major holdings in Asia, reported strong year-over-year profit growth in 2012. Yahoo owns a 24% stake in Alibaba Group and a 35% stake in Yahoo Japan.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) fell 3.78% to $67.65. The biopharmaceutical company announced that it's Alzheimer disease medication Gammagard failed to help patients after 18 months of treatment in a late-stage study.

Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) dropped 2.53% to $3.85. OfficeMax (NYSE:OMX), which is awaiting regulatory approval to merge with Office Depot, reported a first-quarter profit of $56.3 million, or $0.64 per share, compared to $4.9 million, or $0.06 per share, in the prior-year quarter. Excluding items, the office supply retailer earned $0.11 per share. Sales decreased 6% year-over-year to $1.77 billion. OfficeMax also announced a special dividend of $1.50 per share.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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