Semiconductor makers bounced back from yesterday’s selloff after the U.S. granted some relief for Huawei Technologies, allowing U.S. companies to continue doing business with the Chinese tech giant on a limited basis, but with a cutoff date as well. The easing by the White House may be an olive branch toward China, but trade tensions remain at a high level and no new talks between the two superpowers are scheduled as of yet, according to media reports.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., existing home sales slipped 0.4% to a 5.19M rate in April, missing expectations for a strong rebound following a 4.9% drop in March.
TOP NEWS: After the U.S. Commerce Department eased its stance and granted a temporary license for mobile phone companies and internet broadband providers to work with China's Huawei to keep existing networks online, a Google (GOOGL) spokesperson told CNBC in an email that "keeping phones up to date and secure is in everyone's best interests and this temporary license allows us to continue to provide software updates and security patches to existing models for the next 90 days." Meanwhile, the Verge reported that Microsoft (MSFT) is cutting Huawei's MateBook X Pro laptop from its store.
Home Depot (HD) said its sales performance in Q1 "came in below expectations," but that it was "pleased with the underlying performance of the core business despite unfavorable weather in February and significant deflation in lumber prices compared to a year ago." Despite the softer than desired sales, the Dow member still reported profit that beat expectations and backed its FY19 earnings outlook.
Two other well-recognized retailers, Kohl's (KSS) and J.C. Penney (JCP), declined 12.3% and 7%, respectively, after their quarterly reports disappointed.
In M&A news, Crane Co. (CR) announced that it has submitted a proposal to acquire Circor (CIR) for $45 per share in cash. In response, Circor released a statement reiterating its rejection of Crane's proposal. Crane shares finished 1% lower after the news, while Circor surged 40.1%.
Apple (AAPL) shares rose 1.9% after it announced the launch of its 8-core MacBook Pro, which is fitted with faster 8th-and 9th generation Intel (INTC) Core processors. The new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models are available today, the U.S. tech giant said, adding that this is the "fastest Mac notebook ever."
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Arrowhead (ARWR), which rose 12.7% after it was named to join the S&P 600. Also higher was Array BioPharma (ARRY), which gained 22.9% after its Phase 3 BEACON CRC trial met its primary endpoints.
Among the notable losers was BioCryst (BCRX), which fell 52.9% after announcing results from the Phase 3 APeX-2 trial that Piper Jaffray analyst Tyler Van Buren said came in below expectations despite the trial achieving its primary endpoint. Also lower was Mallinckrodt (MNK), which dropped 24.2% after its ARD subsidiary filed suit in federal district court against the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 197.43, or 0.77%, to 25,877.33, the Nasdaq gained 83.35, or 1.08%, to 7,785.72, and the S&P 500 advanced 24.13, or 0.85%, to 2,864.36.