A better than expected durable goods report and good jobless claims data helped send stocks higher in early trading. Durable goods orders jumped nearly 10% in December, according to the Commerce Department, above the 7.1% rise most economists were expecting.
Weekly jobless claims came in down 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 369,000. This was slightly higher than the 365,000 analysts were expecting. Last week’s figure was revised upward by 4,000. The Labor Department said all states reported data and nothing was unusual about the data. This comes a couple weeks after one large state failed to report their jobless claims numbers, skewing the jobless claims report to the downside for that week.
Housing industry reports continue to be an up and down affair with pending home sales rising only 0.3% in September, less than the expected 2.1%. Homebuilder stocks Toll Brothers and Pulte traded sharply lower following this report, both down more than 3%.
Earnings season continues to be in focus this week with Procter & Gamble and Sprint reporting before market open today. Procter & Gamble saw results mostly in line with expectations, but a stronger dollar affected its net income. Shares of the major consumer goods company are up more than 3% in early trading. Sprint Nextel saw a bigger than expected loss after the company upgraded its network. Shares of Sprint are mostly flat in early trading.
Earnings from some of the biggest companies are coming after the closing bell today. Apple, Amazon and Expedia are set to report their earnings in after hours. GDP and consumer sentiment are the big pieces of economic news slated for tomorrow.
The major stock averages are looking good this morning with gains of nearly 0.5% across the board. The Dow Jones is up 42 points, the Nasdaq is up 12 points and the S&P 500 is up 5 points.