Hey, Economy Doomsdayers, U.S. Stocks Just Closed Above 1,900

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks gained Friday, with the S&P 500 closing above 1,900 for the first time ever after stronger-than-expected new home sales in April provided further evidence of a housing recovery.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.38% to 16,606.27. The S&P 500 closed 0.42% higher at 1,900.53, breaking its record close of 1,897.45 on May 13. The Nasdaq gained 0.76% to 4,185.81.
  • The Dow, S&P and Nasdaq for the trading week climbed 0.7%, 1.21% and 2.33%, respectively.
  • U.S. new home sales for April beat estimates, rising 6.4% from March to 433,000. They were 4.2% lower than a year earlier, with the median price of new houses sold in April at $275,800.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will respect the outcome of Ukraine presidential elections this weekend and work with whomever is elected.
  • Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has voiced concern that any strengthening in the yen - which he sees little reason for - could hamper the Japanese economy and the central bank's fight against deflation. He has not ruled out further easing or stimulus if the economic recovery falters.
  • Foot Locker (FL) was 1.5% higher as its first-quarter earnings per share of $1.11 beat estimates by a nickel. Same-store sales jumped more than anticipated during the quarter.
  • GameStop (GME) popped 4.4% after reporting first-quarter earnings that topped estimates by 2 cents at 59 cents a share and guiding for a 12% to 19% increase in current-quarter comparable- store sales.
  • Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) shares surged 6.1%, making it the top gainer in the S&P 500, after the Silicon Valley tech giant said it would cut an additional 11,000 to 16,000 jobs and posted fiscal second-quarter revenue below expectations.
  • Aruba Networks (ARUN) dropped 10.7% after its third-quarter margin fell short of expectations.
  • Aeropostale (ARO) slumped 24% after forecasting a bigger loss than analysts had estimated.
  • The Hong Kong Hang Seng settled up 0.05% while the Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.87%.The FTSE 100 was down 0.07% and the DAX in Germany was up 0.48%. Data overnight showed a bigger-than-expected fall in German business confidence in May.
  • U.S. markets closed higher Thursday as key discretionary retailers beat earnings expectations on the heels of better manufacturing data and a rise in U.S. existing home sales. Societe Generale strategists have noted that since 1969 the S&P 500 has dropped by 1% or more 27 days a year on average; in the past 12 months, there have been only 19 such days. This docility has increased investors' appetite for both stocks and bonds, which helps explain why the stock market hovers near record highs and yields on Treasuries near historic lows, they explained.

-- By Jane Searle, Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York

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