Markets found a way to build on Tuesday’s rally, as strong data on durable goods orders and another positive housing report hoisted stocks into the black Wednesday despite investors’ wariness ahead of Thursday’s European Union meetings.
The S&P 500 led the way with a 0.9% gain to 1,331, while the Dow Jones and Nasdaq both finished up 0.74% to end at 12,626 and 2,875, respectively.
Durable goods orders for May increased 1.1% to $217.2 billion, while May pending home sales rose to their highest level in two years. That’s the third positive housing report to come out this week, and investors clearly are taking notice as evidenced by the housing sector’s rally and the broader market’s pep.
Shares of homebuilder Lennar climbed 4.75% on both the positive news and its own strong earnings report. Meanwhile, M/I Homes (NYSE:MHO) surged more than 5%, as did Hovnanian (NYSE:HON), and Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) also cruised to 4% gains.
All wasn’t well Wednesday, though, as O’Reilly Auto Parts (NASDAQ:ORLY) hit a speed bump after announcing disappointing guidance for the remainder of the year. The stock sank 14% on the news and took competitors AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) and Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) down with it, with AZO shedding more than 4% while AAP drifted marginally. Pep Boys (NYSE:PBY) managed to steer clear of the wreckage, gaining more than 2%.
Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) got a 2% bump on news that Richard Shulze is considering taking the company private — a possible rich ending for Shulze, who was forced out in May due to a scandal involving ex-CEO Brian Dunn.
Social game maker Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) dropped Wednesday after yesterday’s gap down, as investors yawned at the “Zynga Unleashed” event. ZNGA shares fell more than 2% as investors waited for news of better products for consumers.
Finally, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) looked away as analysts got their first chance at providing research, analysis, and price targets on the stock. Stock price targets were all over the board, including a high of $48 per share, but regardless of the analysis, the stock dropped 2.63% for the day to end at $32.24, still well below its IPO and consensus price of $38 per share.
- Cabot Oil (NYSE:COG): Up 9% ($3.39) to $41.24.
- Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI): Up 8.7% (48 cents) to $6.03.
- New York Times Co. (NYSE:NYT): Up 8% (55 cents) to $7.41.
- Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST): Down 4.7% ($3.53) to $71.09.
- Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN): Down 4.5% (44 cents) to $9.33.
- Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST): Down 3.8% ($2.54) to $63.70.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.