Data helps New York markets

| May 25, 2006 | 0 Comments

Wall Street was showing gains at mid-day on Thursday after investors welcomed new economic data that showed gross domestic product growth up and existing home sales down. Both sets of figures should lessen the chance of another interest rate hike in June.

The GDP grew by a revised 5.3 percent in the first quarter, short of predictions but more than the 4.8 percent that was first reported. Additionally, the sales of existing homes dropped by 2 percent in April.

By the middle of the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had added 0.7 percent to 11,198.49, while the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 had each advanced by 0.9 percent, to 2,188.97 and 1,270.02 respectively.

MasterCard’s debut as a publicly traded stock was a success as shares, initially priced at $39, added 12.2 percent to $43.75. This was in contrast to Vonage, which made its first appearance yesterday. By midday, Vonage had lost another 11.7 percent to $13.11, bringing its losses to 22 percent in a day and a half.

In the automobile manufacturing sector, General Motors added 5.2 percent to $27.88 on the news that more employees than expected had taken the company up on its buy-out plan to cut costs. Ford Motor also advanced on the day, by 4.2 percent to $7.22.

In the retail sector, Wal-Mart gained 2.9 percent to $49.42 as Bank of America upgraded it from “neutral” to “buy”.

In internet-related stocks, Ebay and Yahoo each advanced on the news that the online auction business and the search engine have signed a multi-year advertising partnership deal. Ebay added 7.4 percent to $32.44 and Yahoo gained 3.3 percent to $32.85. Search engine Google, however, lost 0.9 percent to $377.99.


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