The twenty first trading week of 2014 comes to a close with US markets trading higher in the last hour.
Names such as Move (MOVE), Nimble Storage (NMBL), and HP (NYSE:HPQ) are leading the charge on the day's gains.
Hi. I'm Sayoko Murase. Welcome to the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for May 23, 2014.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and NASDAQ Composite are all significantly higher for the week.
Crude oil futures are higher this week, trading at $104.36 per barrel on Friday afternoon.
And Gold futures are relatively flat, trading at $1292.74 an ounce on Friday afternoon.
In economic news, in the week ending May 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 326,000, an increase of 28,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 297,000 to 298,000. The 4-week moving average was 322,500, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 323,250 to 323,500.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0 percent for the week ending May 10, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 10 was 2,653,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since December 1, 2007 when it was 2,639,000. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 2,667,000 to 2,666,000.
Existing-home sales increased for the first time this year in April, while inventory meaningfully increased and home price growth moderated, according to the National Association of Realtors. Monthly sales gains in the West and South offset a modest decline in the Midwest while the Northeast was unchanged.
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.65 million in April from 4.59 million in March, but are 6.8 percent below the 4.99 million-unit level in April 2013.
Sales of new single-family houses in April 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 6.4 percent above the revised March rate of 407,000, but is 4.2 percent below the April 2013 estimate of 452,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2014 was $275,800; the average sales price was $320,100. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 192,000. This represents a supply of 5.3 months at the current sales rate.
In highlights of corporate dividend news, Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.225 a share on the company's common stock. The quarterly dividend is payable on July 23, 2014 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on July 2, 2014.
McDonald's declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.81 per share of common stock payable on June 16, 2014 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 2, 2014.
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) declared a quarterly dividend of 40 cents per share on the outstanding shares of JPMorgan Chase's common stock. The dividend is payable on July 31, 2014, to stockholders of record at the close of business on July 3, 2014.
Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.70 per share on Northrop Grumman common stock, a 15 percent increase from the prior quarterly dividend of $0.61 per share. This is the 11th consecutive annual increase in Northrop Grumman's quarterly common stock dividend. The dividend is payable June 18, 2014, to shareholders of record as of the close of business June 2, 2014.
This is the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for Friday, May 23, 2014. Please join us on Monday for the Week Ahead Market Report.
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