U.S. markets continued to shine today and were inching up within striking distance of some all-time closing highs. Earnings news was largely positive from various large blue-chip companies, such as The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) and McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD).
News on the housing market was also quite positive. Total mortgage applications were 2.3% higher for the week ending April 17, the February Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) house price index was up 0.7% from the previous month.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) March existing home sales report of 5.2 million annualized units bested the analysts’ estimate of 5 million.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 each rose 0.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.4%. Diverse sectors such as basic materials, financials and technology were quite strong, and in fact, all sectors were flashing green.
A couple of announcements and a delicious earnings report boosted the likes of Tesla Motors Inc (NYSE:TSLA), Visa Inc (NYSE:V) and Yum! Brands, Inc.(NYSE:YUM ), making them three of today’s best stocks.
Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA )
TSLA stock jumped 4.8% higher after announcing on Tuesday that it will unwrap two lithium-ion energy storage batteries next week — one for residences, and the other is for “very large” installations.
TSLA has been signing up large firms to sell their batteries, such as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Cargill, Incorporated in an effort to become the front-runner in the energy storage market.
In addition, TSLA announced that it will be posting its first-quarter financial results after the closing bell on May 6.
Visa Inc (V )
A decision overnight that China will allow foreign firms to set up bank card-clearing businesses boosted share prices of both Visa and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) today, with both gaining 4%.
The decision, which was posted on the main government website, to expand payment methods is part of an effort to increase the transparency of China’s financial sector.
Visa stock touched an all time high around midday, before pulling back a little.
Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM )
YUM stock also gapped up 4% today after posting first-quarter 2015 earnings of 80 cents a share, beating analysts’ expectations of 72 cents. However, revenue of $2.6 billion was 4% lower than a year ago, and YUM missed the estimate by a bit more than 1%.
Wall Street continues to have that sense of deja vu lately, as stock after stock has been beating estimates on earnings but missing on revenue.
The revenue miss was blamed on a softening of sales in China, and YUM said it expects to have one more similar quarter before China’s economy rebounds to boost profits there again.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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