The Dow hit a new five-year high Wednesday as investors focused on a successful bond auction in Italy, and another round of solid housing news and decent earnings across the board, all the while speculating on what Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) might say (which turned out to be nothing) at its annual shareholder meeting in the afternoon.
The good feelings lasted throughout the day as the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 1.26% to 14075.37, the S&P 500 ran ahead 1.27% to 1515.19 and the Nasdaq — despite a 1% decline in Apple — rose 1.04% to 3162.26.
The housing sector continued a recent strong run after the National Association of Realtors announced a surprising rise of 4.5% in pending home sales. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSE:XHB) rose more than 2%, while homebuilders Hovnanian (NYSE:HOV, +4.7%), KB Home (NYSE:KB, +3.4%) and Lennar (NYSE:LEN, +2.5%) also saw shares rise on the day.
Shares of Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) soared over 10% after the discount retailer said it earned $1.01 per share on sales of $2.25 billion in the fourth quarter. The good news washed all over the sector, as Dollar General (NYSE:DG, +3.6%) and Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO, 2.5%) saw gains for the day.
Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN) shares rose more than 2% after the online travel site beat profit forecasts. Shares of TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP, +3.5%) Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE, +2.2%) and Orbitz (NYSE:OWW, +1.8%) rallied in sympathy.
Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) continued a recent run, gaining more than 4% as New Jersey passed legislation allowing online gaming, joining Nevada and Delaware. And accessories retailer Coach (NYSE:COH) rose over 2% on a rumor the company might be up for sale.
Bucking the good feelings on the day was First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), which sank more than 13% after the renewable energy firm missed sales forecasts.
- Mako Surgical (NASDAQ:MAKO): Up 9.9% ($1.09) to $12.09.
- Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN): Up 7.8% (43 cents) to $5.98.
- RadioShack (NYSE:RSH): Up 7.2% (22 cents) to $3.28. (Read more here)
- IAMGOLD (NYSE:IAG): Down 4.6% (34 cents) to $7.12.
- Teradata (NYSE:TDC): Down 3.4% ($2.04) to $58.38.
- Lorillard (NYSE:LO): Down 1.7% (66 cents) to $38.84.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long AAPL.