The major averages are mixed near noon, with the Dow higher, the Nasdaq slightly lower and the S&P little changed, despite mostly strong economic data. Investors do not appear to be rattled by the release of the redacted Mueller report as markets have been calm ahead of the long Easter weekend.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales rebounded 1.6%, and were up 1.2% excluding autos, in March, which was stronger than forecast. Initial jobless claims fell 5,000 to 192,000 in the week ending April 13, marking a third consecutive 49-year low. The Philly Fed index declined 5.2 points to 8.5 in April. The leading economic indicators index rose 0.4% to 111.9 in March, a new record high level. Business inventories grew 0.3% in February, with sales up 0.1%.. Markit's flash manufacturing PMI was unchanged at 52.4 in April, while the services index dropped 2.4 points to 52.9.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Travelers (TRV) are up 3% after the insurance giant reported better than expected core earnings and revenue and raised its quarterly dividend by 6.5%. Honeywell (HON) shares are up nearly 4% after the commercial aerospace, defense, and fire and security products maker reported better than expected Q1 results and raised its FY19 proft view. American Express (AXP) is up 2% after reporting mixed Q1 results, with better than expected earnings and lower than expected revenue. The card issuer also backed its existing FY19 earnings outlook.
Philip Morris (PM) reported first quarter adjusted EPS and revenue that came in better than expected, but gave a lower than forecast earnings outlook for the fiscal year. Adding an additional weight on the stock, which is down fractionally near noon, is news that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to introduce legislation in the U.S. Senate to raise the nationwide minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21 from 18.
There were five initial public offerings in a busy day for new issues, headlined by Zoom Video Communications (ZM) and Pinterest (PINS). The enterprise video conferencing software maker opened at $65 per share, way above its IPO price of $36 per share, while the intrest sharing service operator opened at $23.75 after pricing its IPO at $19.00 per share.
Shares of Canopy Growth (CGC) are on the rise after the Canadian cannabis company confirmed a deal granting it the rights, and obligation, to purchase U.S.-based Acreage Holdings (ACRGF) at an agreed-upon price when and if marijuana becomes federally legal in the U.S.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Blackstone (BX), which rose 8% after it reported quarterly results and announced its conversion to a corporation.
Also higher after reporting quarterly results were Adtran (ADTN) and United Rentals (URI), which gained a respective 10% and 9%.
Among the notable losers was Check Point (CHKP), which slid 8% after reporting quarterly results and provided guidance for the second quarter.
Also lower after reporting quarterly results were Sleep Number (SNBR) and Skechers (SKX), which fell 16% and 11%, respectively.
INDEXES: Near midday,
the Dow was up 107.91, or 0.41%, to 26,557.45, the Nasdaq was down 6.35, or 0.08%, to 7,989.73, and the S&P 500 was up 3.91, or 0.13%, to 2,904.36.