Four upbeat reports sent the three major stock indices into positive territory on Thursday after a weak opening. The S&P 500 passed 1,400 for the first time since June of 2008. Miami-based companies saw their stocks perform more than twice as well as the indices.
The first bit of good news came from the Department of Labor, which released another “less bad” weekly report on initial unemployment claims:
In the week ending March 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 351,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 365,000. The 4-week moving average was 355,750, unchanged from the previous week’s revised average of 355,750.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s Business Outlook Survey jumped from 10.2 in February to 12.5 for March, its highest reading since April of 2011. The New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey climbed from 19.5 to 20.2 — its highest level in 21 months. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Producer Price Index for finished goods advanced by 0.4 percent in February. This was less than the 0.5 percent expected by economists in a survey by FactSet.
Greg Smith’s highly-public resignation from Goldman Sachs (by way of an op-ed piece in Wednesday’s New York Times) continued to reverberate through the news media on Thursday. You can find more details concerning this story on my blog. Although many pundits were expecting to see the share value for Goldman Sachs (GS) to take another dip on Thursday, the stock actually jumped by 2.23%. In light of the fact that GS closed at 117 on Monday, Thursday’s finish at 123 demonstrated that the stock has been experiencing a fairly good week (so far) despite all of the bad publicity.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 58 points on Thursday to close at 13,252 for a gain of 44 basis points (0.44 percent). The S&P 500 advanced by 60 basis points (0.60 percent) to finish at 1,402 (its highest closing level since June of 2008). The NASDAQ Composite gained 51 basis points (0.51 percent) to end the day at 3,056.
Miami-based corporations had another fantastic day on Thursday. Royal Caribbean (RCL) led the group with an impressive gain of 3.17% to close at 29.93. Ryder System (R) was next, jumping by 2.49% to finish at 55.51. Lennar (LEN) advanced by 1.97% to close at 26.89. Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) rose by 1.44% to end the day at 32.39.
The following companies will be playing “beat the number” on Friday, with the release of their quarterly earnings reports: ChipMOS Technologies (IMOS), Harris and Harris Group (TINY), Pure Bioscience (PURE), ReneSola (SOL) and Tsakos Energy Navigation (TNP). Good luck!