Data Takes the Wheel — Thursday’s IP Market Recap

by Marc Bastow | January 17, 2013 4:54 pm

InvestorPlace Market Recap[1]The markets got a lift on the economic data front Thursday, with reports on employment and housing helping to push the major indices in tandem to end a streak of mixed results.

Before the market opened, the Labor Department reported first-time claims for unemployment fell to 335,000 from 372,000, the lowest number since January 2008. Home building also showed recovery post-Superstorm Sandy, with the Census Bureau reporting that housing starts increased 12.1% over the previous month and applications for new building permits up 28.8% from last year’s level.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished ahead 0.63% at 13,596.02, the Nasdaq gained 0.59% to 3,136 and the S&P 500 added 0.56% to 1,480.94.

The positive housing starts data pushed homebuilders and related shares up Thursday. Homebuilders like Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL[2], +3.6%) and D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI[3], +2.5%) headed higher, as did home improvement retailers Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW[4], +3.4%) and Home Depot (NYSE:HD[5], +1.9%).

Media conglomerate CBS (NYSE:CBS[6]) soared more than 7% after the company announced it would convert its billboards advertising division into a real estate investment trust and sell its European and Asian outdoor operations.

Shares of online auctioneer and PayPal parent eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY[7]) continued to break new all-time highs, heading up more than 2% after announcing solid earnings[8] after the bell Wednesday, helped in part by strong mobile sales. Also in tech, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL[9]) clawed out another 2% amid news that Silver Lake Partners has raised $15 billion toward taking the company private.

Heading the other way was Bank of America (NYSE:BAC[10]), which was the Dow’s biggest loser with a 4% slide after posting a decline in fourth-quarter earnings. Sectormate Citigroup (NYSE:C[11], -2.9%) disappointed, too — partly because of more than $2 billion in legal and restructuring costs.

After the bell, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC[12]), was giving back the 2% gains it made during the day after reporting that Q2 earnings fell 33% while revenues dropped 3%, though its 48-cent profit still beat estimates while its $13.5 billion in sales matched.

Earnings notables for Friday include General Electric (NYSE:GE[13]), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS[14]) and Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB[15]).

Three Up

Three Down

Marc Bast0w is an Assistant Editor at As of this writing, he was long GE and INTC.

  1. [Image]: http://Solid%20economic%20reports%20on%20the%20housing%20and%20unemployment%20front%20moved%20market%20ahead%20broadly%20on%20the%20day%20with%20all%20three%20indexes%20posting%20gains%20
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