Stocks have been boosted by a number of better than expected earnings reports, including from four members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The broad-based strength has seen the S&P 500 rise above its prior closing record of 2,930.75, though it still remains below its all-time intraday best level of 2,940.91.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., new home sales rose 4.5% to a 692,000 rate in March, beating estimates. The FHFA home price index rose 0.3% to 272.8 in February. The Richmond Fed manufacturing index fell 7 points to a reading of 3 in April.
TOP NEWS: Four Dow members reported earnings before the open, with all four topping expectations in terms of earnings per share. Following their reports, Coca-Cola (KO) is up 2% at midday, United Technologies (UTX) is up 2%, Verizon (VZ) is down 2% and Procter & Gamble (PG) is down 3%.
Twitter (TWTR) shares have jumped 16% after the social media network reported better than expected revenue and user metrics for the first quarter. Twitter CFO said that following the "strong results" the company has "never been more confident" in its strategy and execution" as CEO Jack Dorsey called out the company's "more proactive approach to reducing abuse" on its platform.
Following a quiet period after the company’s initial public offering, several Wall Street analysts started coverage of Lyft (LYFT) with buy-equivalent ratings, citing its large and global marketplace, few competitors and compelling valuation following recent underperformance. However, the bullish initiations, from many of the underwriters of the company's stock sale, have not been able to give the stock much of a boost as Lyft shares are up fractionally to $61.20 near midday, remaining far below the $72 per share at which its IPO was priced and the $87.24 price where the stock had its first trades.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Kohl's (KSS), which rose 9% after it announced that it would expand its partnership with Amazon (AMZN) and will now accept Amazon returns at all of its stores nationwide beginning in July.
Also higher was Hasbro (HAS), which gained 16% after the toymaker's report of better than expected quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Crocs (CROX), which slipped 3% after Piper Jaffray analyst Erinn Murphy downgraded the stock to Neutral from Overweight with an unchanged price target of $31.
Also lower were Waters (WAT) and State Street (STT), which fell 13% and 4%, respectively, after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: Near midday,
the Dow was up 167.37, or 0.63%, to 26,678.42
, the Nasdaq was up 94.65, or 1.18%, to 8,109.92
, and the S&P 500 was up 25.75, or 0.89%, to 2,933.72