Wall Street ended sharply higher on Tuesday and pushed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to new heights, driven by better-than-expected corporate earnings from big names like Coca-Cola, United Technologies or Twitter.
At closing, the Dow Jones index gained 0.55% to 26,656 points, while the broad S&P 500 index advanced 0.88% to 2,933 pts (above its record 2,930 pts, listed on the 20th September 2018) and that the composite Nasdaq has risen 1.32% to 8.120 pts, also crossing its last peak of 8.109 pts, dated August 29th. The Dow Jones has only 0.6% to go before finding its last record, registered at 26,828 pts on October 3rd.
This week is the most active in terms of business results, but it is also loaded with economic indicators, the main one being the first estimate of US GDP in 1st quarter, published Friday. The consensus expects a 2.1% annual GDP growth, after +2.2% in the 4th quarter of 2018.
Meanwhile, data have been published on the construction and real estate market, which confirm a fairly good resistance of the sector despite hazards. The FHFA index of real estate prices rose by 0.3% in February against a consensus of + 0.4% compared to the previous month (+4.9% yoy).
In addition, sales of new homes exceeded expectations in March to 692,000 units, against a consensus of 645,000 square and a revised level (down slightly) to 662,000 in February. The numbers remain volatile, but still reflect a rather bullish trend, due to attractive credit rates. Markets anticipated a decline in March, which did not happen. The initial reading in February was 667,000.
In contrast, sales of existing homes, released yesterday, were slightly lower than expected at 5.21 million units in March, against a consensus of 5.3 million expected and 5.48 million in February.
The Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index for April, released on Tuesday, was disappointing, at just 3 points, against a positive consensus of 11 and an earlier level of 10. Monday, the Fed’s national activity index Chicago in March was -0.15 against -0.31 for the revised reading of the previous month.