by Marc Bastow | June 26, 2012 5:02 pm
If it appears to be getting harder to follow any pattern or rhyme or reason to the stock market, there’s a reason: because there isn’t any. Following on the heels of Monday’s rout, the market bounced around amid reports on U.S. housing and consumer confidence mixed with worries about the upcoming European Union meetings, before ending the day on the plus side across the board.
Stocks closed fractionally in the black, with the Nasdaq leading the way up 0.63% to 2,854, the S&P coming in up 0.48% at 1,320, and the Dow lagging behind with a 0.26% gain to 12,534.
The latest Case-Shiller home price index report provided some early market optimism, showing that U.S. home prices rose 1.3% in April, the first increase in seven months, though they were still down from a year earlier. The news comes a day after a Commerce Department report that showed sales of new homes rose to 7.6%, a two-year high. However a report on consumer confidence signaled weakness, keeping stocks under pressure.
Housing stocks were lifted by the reports, with M/I Homes (NYSE:MHO) up over 10%, Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) up 5.36% and DR Horton (NYSE:DHI) ahead 3.6%.
Chevron (NYSE:CVX) was the only Dow 30 stock to move over 2% on the day. However, ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) rose 1.75%, and GE (NYSE:GE) jumped 1.6% despite a lack of any particular news.
News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) soared 8.4% to finish at $21.79 on the day as the company confirmed it’s considering separating its business into two different publicly traded companies. News Corp. owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
Tech stocks found a mild bounce-back from Monday, as Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) benefited from a strong quarter to rise 0.6%, while Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) climbed 2% on news of a partnership initiative with Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL).
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he is long XOM and GE.
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