Stocks scraped out gains on the day to help recoup some of yesterday's losses. The market largely followed the price of crude, which after some choppy trading, edged out a gain as well. All in all, it was a slow day in the market. The economic data was mixed, with housing showing some mild signs of recovering, and news about Europe ahead of the EU summit was relatively quiet.
The Homebuilder Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by M/I Homes (MHO) with a 9% gain. The Chinese Solar Stocks Index was the day's worst performing tickerspy Index, with JinkoSolar Holding (JKS) down -11%.
Stocks rose on the day with the Dow up 32 points to 12,535. The Nasdaq jumped 18 points to 2,854, while the S&P gained 6 points to 1,320. Oil edged up 15 cents to $79.36 a barrel, while gold fell -$13.50 to $1,574.90 an ounce.
In economic news, the Conference Board said U.S. consumer confidence fell to 62.0 this month from a downwardly revised May reading of 64.4. Economists had expected a June reading of 63.5. The May number was revised down from 64.9. June's reading is the fourth straight month of declines. Elsewhere, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 U.S. metro areas fell -1.9% year over year in April, the slowest decline in more than two years. Economists had expected a drop of -2.5% in April.
In earnings news, shares of Apollo Group (APOL) surged 10.3% after the for-profit education company reported fiscal third-quarter results that topped estimates. Apollo reported a profit of $134 million, or $1.13 per share, compared with $212.4 million, or $1.51 per share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.20 a share compared with $1.45 a share a year earlier. Revenue declined to $1.1 billion from $1.2 billion. Analysts had expected a profit of 97 cents per share on revenue of $1.1 billion. The company forecast full-year revenue of $4.2-$4.3 billion, while analysts are expecting $4.28 billion.
Shares of LDK Solar (LDK) slid -6.9% after the Chinese solar company reported a fiscal first-quarter loss of -$182.5 million, or -$1.46 a share, compared with a profit of $135.4 million, or 95 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell to $200.1 million from $766.3 million. Analysts had expected a loss of -$1.14 per share on sales of $298.1 million. The company lowered its full-year revenue outlook to $1.5-$2.0 billion from a previous estimate of $2.0-$2.7 billion. LDK expects second-quarter revenue of $220-$270 million, well below the $370.4 million analysts were expecting.
Delta Air Lines (DAL) shares jumped 5.9% after the Georgia-based company said it expects revenue per available seat mile to be helped by increased business travel. The company also said it expects a second-quarter operating margin of 8.0% compared with 6.9% a year earlier. The airline, however, will take an approximately -$155 million loss for fuel hedges. Twenty-one pros held Delta in their portfolios at the end of Q1 and 330 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
Shares of News Corp. (NWSA) rose 8.5% after the media giant said it is mulling splitting itself into two separate, publicly-traded firms. The company did not identify which businesses would be part of the two new companies; however, The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp, said the company was looking to split its newspaper and book publishing businesses from its entertainment divisions. Forty-two pros held News Corp. in their portfolios at the end of Q1 and nearly 100 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
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