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Market Rally Resumes, FedEx Falters, Lennar Raises the Roof

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

Let the market rallies and records resume. U.S. stocks gained today after the Federal Reserve's latest policy announcement and Chairman Ben Bernanke's news conference. The Dow Jones Industrial Average touched a record intraday high of 14,547 and closed the day at 14,512, despite the uncertainty Cyprus is creating in the Euro Zone.

The past quarter was far from ship shape for FedEx (FDX). Shares fell 7% today after the company issued a disappointing earnings report. The shipping giant made $1.23 per share excluding items. Estimates were for $1.38. The company says the quarter was very challenging due to economic weakness overseas. Here at home, profits were also down because customers have been using FedEx's less expensive shipping options. Shares hit their 52-week high last week.

Shares of homebuilder Lennar (LEN) rose nearly 5% after the company issued earnings that were through the roof. The company says its quarterly profit nearly tripled. Earnings were 26-cents per share. Estimates had been for 15-cents per share. Lennar says home sale closings are up 28%, and prices have risen 13%. New orders are up 34% to more than 4,000 homes.

The sky was the limit today for business software company Model N (MODN), which closed higher by over 30% in its first day trading. Shares surged as much as 44% within hours of their initial public offering. Model N provides revenue management software to life science and technology companies. It released 6.7 million shares, priced at $15.50 each. The company has gained attention because it has been shifting services to the cloud.

BlackBerry (BBRY) shares jumped 6.5% on an upgrade from Morgan Stanley. The firm has upgraded the smartphone maker to overweight from underweight and increased its price target to $22. Analysts say they think BlackBerry's new operating system will be able to get a foothold in the smartphone market alongside Apple and Android products.

General Mills (GIS) closed higher by 2.5%. The cereal-maker hit a 52-week high after reporting quarterly earnings. The company reported it earned 60-cents a share compared to estimates of 57-cents. However, the forecast is not all milk and honey; the company is warning that higher costs for fuel and ingredients may hurt it next quarter. Much of company's growth potential lies abroad. Sales outside the U.S. doubled in the past five years. Last week General Mills announced its 14th dividend increase in a decade.