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Market Update

U.S. Stocks Extend Gains Ahead of Bernanke Testimony

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 9:44 AM ET May 22 2013

9:40 AM New York – U.S. stocks traded higher ahead of the Fed Chairman Bernanke comments and the release of existing home sales data. Crude oil futures declined on the unexpected buildup in inventories.

Stocks in New York traded higher ahead of Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke speech in front of lawmakers at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Investors are looking for clues on the economic outlook and its change of plan for asset purchase.

Also, investors are awaiting the release of existing home sales data at 10:00 a.m. ET and economists are looking for sales to increase 1.4% in April on the month to an annualized rate of 5 million.

European Markets

European market indexes retreated from the recent highs today as European Union leaders meet in Brussels today to discuss efforts to step up corporate tax evasion and Ireland was in focus.

Bank of England policy setting committee rejected the proposal by Mervyn King to expand stimulus for the fourth month in a row. Six members of committee voted against the proposal according its minutes of meeting ending on May 9.

Benchmark indexes fell in 10 of 18 European markets and FTSE 100 index increased 0.2%, DAX index was nearly unchanged and CAC 40 index declined 0.3%.

UK retail sales unexpectedly fell 1.3% in April, according to the latest data released by the Office for National Statistics.

Pandora plunged 11% after the costume jewelry maker’s largest shareholder cut its holding to 40.9% and sold 13 million share to raise 2.6 billion kroner or $451 million.

Asian Markets

Markets in Asia generally closed higher and Nikkei soared 1.6% after Bank of Japan lifted its economic assessment for the fifth month in a row and maintained its plan to inject $580 billion a year into the economy.

Nikkei closed at a 5-year high and the yen declined to a new 4-year low, after the Bank of Japan outlook.

Market indexes in Mumbai and in Hong Kong eased.

Stocks in Review

Analog Devices Inc (ADI) declined 2% after the maker of integrated circuits estimated adjusted third quarter earnings per share between 51 cents and 56 cents, below what many analysts estimate of at least 57 cents.

Ford Motor Company (F) increased 0.7% after the auto maker said it plans to increase its manufacturing capacity in North America by 200,000 units on higher demand.

Lowe’s (LOW) increased 3% and the company said it has stepped up its plan to revitalize stores and difficult weather conditions weighed on the latest quarterly results and sales in April. Quarterly sales and earnings were lower than expected.

NetApp Inc jumped 6% after the data storage company said it plans to cut jobs and step up its stock buyback and dividend program to return cash to shareholders.

Saks Inc (SKS) surged 19% after media reports suggested that the company hired Goldman Sachs to evaluate strategic alternatives including sale of the company.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc