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US stocks rise on small business optimism

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US stocks moved higher Tuesday after a solid improvement in small-business confidence.

About 60 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 61.23 points (0.41 percent) to 15,152.91.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 11.05 (0.43 percent) to 1,644.82, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite gained 19.46 (0.57 percent) to 3,458.25.

The National Federation of Independent Business's Small Business Optimism Index rose 2.6 points in April to 92.1, above the recovery average of 90.7.

Meanwhile fresh data from the Department of Labor said US import prices declined 0.5 percent in April, while US export prices fell 0.7 percent -- signs of weakness in the economy that could justify the Fed continuing stimulus program.

Take-Two Interactive Software, which develops interactive entertainment, rose 5.4 percent after reporting $299.5 million in revenues, above the $280.4 million forecast by analysts. The company pointed to an "extensive pipeline of next-generation and emerging platform titles in development."

Western Gas Partners, which owns and operates pipelines and other midstream energy assets, fell 3.4 percent to $61.11 after pricing a new issue of 6.1 million shares at $61.18, with the proceeds aimed at paying down debt and funding its capital program.

Continental Resources rose 1.5 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is investing more than $95 million in a pipeline project being developed by a partnership controlled by the company's chief executive and his family.

Handbag and accessory firm Coach dipped 0.2 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported the company is considering acquisitions.

Sony's US-traded shares shot up more than 10 percent after the New York Times reported that activist investor Daniel Loeb had begun pushing for a breakup of the struggling Japanese electronics giant.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury slipped to 1.90 percent from 1.92 percent late Monday, while the 30-year fell to 3.11 percent from 3.13 percent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

jmb/pmh

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130514/us-stocks-rise-small-business-optimism