Tuesday, February 19, 2013
U.S. stocks re-opened after a holiday Monday to moderate gains with the S&P 500 and NASDAQ both gaining 0.7%. Economic data was light but investors will be focused on the Federal Reserve meeting minutes to be released Wednesday afternoon along with flash (advance) purchasing managers data from China and India later in the week.
- The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index unexpectedly edged down to 46 in February from 47 in the prior month as builders faced higher material costs. A reading above 50 indicates favorable conditions for builders, a level not seen since April 2006.
- Gas prices rose for the 33rd day in a row. Economists are monitoring rising gas prices to gauge whether they will take a bite out of consumer spending in February. Nationwide, a gallon of unleaded gasoline averaged $3.748 Tuesday. Gas prices have risen about 33 cents, or nearly 10%, since the beginning of February.
Oil gained 0.8% to $96.66, gold fell 0.3% to $1604.20, while silver sunk 1.4% to $29.42.
Britain's FTSE 100 gained 1.0%, Germany's DAX added 1.6%, and France's CAC-40 rallied 1.9%.
- The German ZEW investor sentiment index jumped to a three-year high this month, beating even the most optimistic economist forecasts.
The Shanghai Composite lost 1.6% and the Nikkei dropped 0.3%.