Market’s Bullish Run Slows and 6 Stocks to Watch

A list of NASDAQ stocksStocks ended the day higher, but just barely. Boosted by housing data and the Apple announcement, the major indexes finished the day slightly higher. The Dow closed up 6 points to 13,293. The Nasdaq 100 finished the day up 23 points to 3,078. The S&P 500 rounded out the day’s modest gains, up 5.5 points to ,409.

The Nasdaq today was buttressed by the two-fold Apple announcement. First they announced a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share. The second part of the announcement was a stock buy-back program. Some analysts said that Apple went and made dividends cool again. Other analysts say that it is possible for Apple to stretch its run to $700 per share. That would make the stock look even more toppy than it does now.

The rest of the market spent the day digesting the first in a series of housing data points to be released this year. With housing sentiment number coming in high, there is hope that the lagging housing market could be joining the recovery.

The one caveat to the recovery that analysts are quick to point out is rising energy prices. Already skyrocketing gas prices could start to pinch the consumer’s pocket and throw inflationary models out of whack. Toss in some good old fashioned geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and it makes for one giant caveat. [Read more...]

New-Home Sales Dip and Morning Movers: PEIX, OVTI, KCP, RBCN, KND, CLDX

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New Home Sales Fall

Stocks have given up most of their early gains this morning as new housing data was just released. New-home sales dipped for the first time in 4 months last month. The Commerce Department reported sales dropped 0.9% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 321,000 homes. This dip comes after home sales rose 10% in the previous four months. Even with gains in new home sales, only 304,000 new homes were sold in 2011. That is the lowest number on record dating back to the early 1960s. Most economists look for 700,000 homes per year as healthy for the housing market. The major indices are starting to turn negative on this news. The Dow is down 1 point, the Nasdaq is up 3 points and the S&P 500 is up 2 points.

Oil Prices Continue to Rise

Oil prices are rising again today and are currently trading above $108/barrel. Prices continue to rise due to tensions between Iran and the western world. Prices at the pump will begin to reflect the change in oil prices in the coming days. Many analysts still believe that $5 per gallon on average could happen by summer. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said there is “no quick fix” to the rise in oil prices during an interview with CNBC. He didn’t rule out tapping domestic reserves either in order to alleviate increasing gas prices. [Read more...]

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