Robust quarterly earnings from major companies along with investor optimism that Cyprus lawmakers will seal a deal to bailout Cyprus from its financial crisis lifted benchmarks higher. Despite Friday’s gain the S&P 500 logged its second weekly loss of the year. In the previous week investor concern about Cyprus’ financial crisis eclipsed positive domestic reports. All the ten sectors of the S&P 500 industry groups finished in the green. The consumer discretionary sector was the biggest gainer.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.6% to close the day at 14,512.03. The S&P 500 added 0.7% to finish Friday’s trading session at 1,556.89. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.7% to end at 3,245.00. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined 3.0% to settle at 13.57. Consolidated volumes on the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were roughly 5.4 billion shares, significantly lower than 2012’s daily average of 6.45 billion shares. Advancing stocks outnumbered the decliners. For the 61% that advanced, 34% declined.
In the previous week trading sessions were largely dominated by investor fear about the effects of Cyprus’ financial crisis on the heath of the Euro Zone’s economy. Dismal earnings from FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) and Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) also hampered investor sentiment. The S&P 500 declined 0.2%, the Dow Jones fell only 0.01% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.1% over the week. The blue chip index recorded its worst week in more than a month.
According to the Cyprus ruling party, the country was on the verge of reaching a deal to avoid a financial crisis. This news created positive sentiment in the markets. Previously, the country’s international lenders said to qualify for the international bailout Cyprus will have to raise the requisite loan amount till Monday. If Cyprus is unable to raise the billions of euros then the country’s financial system will crumble and could withdraw from the euro bloc. Euro Zone finance ministers were scheduled to meet on Sunday to discuss the Cyprus issue.
Shares of NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE), the world’s biggest sporting-goods company, jumped nearly 11.1% after the company reported its quarterly results. Nike earnings came above the Street estimate. Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) also reported its quarterly results. The company’s earnings also beat the Street’s estimate. Better-than-expected earnings from Tiffany were boosted by increase in demand from the Asia-Pacific region. Shares of the company gained 1.9% following its quarterly results.
The consumer discretionary sector had a good run yesterday after encouraging earnings from Nike and Tiffany. The Consumer Discretionary SPDR (XLY) gained 1.2% and emerged as the biggest gainer among the S&P 500 industry groups. Stocks such as The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) added 0.8%, 0.8%, 1.7% and 0.3%, respectively.
Shares of Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) surged 10.7% after the company announced quarterly results. The company’s earnings came in below the Street’s estimate but revenue increased 3% to $2.08 billon. The company’s revenue beat the Street’s estimate.
The Consumer Staples Select Sect. SPDR (XLP) inched up 0.9%. Stocks such as The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM), PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP), Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) and Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) increased 0.1%, 0.6%, 3.3%, 1.5% and 1.5%, respectively.
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