After Market: Consumer Confidence Lifts Investor Confidence

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A surprise jump in the Conference Board's monthly report on consumer confidence helped stocks bounce back after two straight days of selling.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 91 points, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) both gained about 8 points.

Some of the technology stocks that were hard hit on Monday steadied today. Facebook (FB) rose 1 percent. But some of the so-called momentum plays such as Netflix (NFLX) and Priceline (PCLN) continued to lose ground.

Biotech and health tech stocks also steadied after several down days. A closely followed biotech ETF edged higher. Celgene (CELG) and Gilead (GILD) gained ground, but Intercept Pharma (ICPT) fell 3.5 percent and Tesaro Pharma (TSRO) lost 4.5 percent.

That consumer confidence report helped airlines. Delta (DAL) and American (AAL) both gained 3 percent and Southwest (LUV) added more than 1 percent.

Alternative energy stocks powered ahead. Plug Power (PLUG) soared 49 percent after MarketWatch reported the company expects to announce a big contract with a major automaker. Ballard Power (BLDP) rallied 31 percent and Fuelcell Energy (FCEL) jumped 20 percent.

But some retailers, especially those aimed at teens and young adults, were on the defensive. Aeropostale (ARO) slid 6.5 percent on worries about its earnings. The stock has lost about 60 percent over the past year. Wet Seal (WTSL) slid 12 percent and the women's apparel retailer Cache (CACH) fell 13 percent as its loss widened.

We're between earnings seasons, except for these companies:

The restaurant chain Sonic (SONC) boomed. It gained 10 percent on better than expected earnings.

The spice maker McCormick (MCK) rose 5.5 percent. It too beat expectations.

But Carnival Cruise (CCL) fell 5 percent. It issued a disappointing outlook. It's booking more rooms, but at lower prices as it tries to repair its reputation after some disastrous cruise publicity last year.

And G-III Apparel (GIII) also issued a weak outlook, sending the stock down nearly 5 percent. The company makes store brand clothes for many leading department stores.

What to Watch Wednesday:
  • The Mortgage Bankers Association releases weekly mortgage applications at 7 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The Commerce Department releases durable goods for February at 8:30 a.m.
  • Markit releases its March survey of purchasing managers in the service sector at 9:45 a.m.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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44 Comments

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betty_brock

Last night AOL removed all mrspelosi's posts. So much for freedom of speech.

March 26 2014 at 5:15 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
fire.teapartyin2014.bob

It wasn't speech it was nonsense.

March 26 2014 at 9:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
NJPACKFAN

I'm a consumer.......I have no confidence.

March 26 2014 at 2:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to NJPACKFAN's comment
betty_brock

Neither does anyone else. This article is just more liberal spin.

March 26 2014 at 5:34 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
paddleman1928

consumer STUPIDITY is more like it.

March 25 2014 at 10:00 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

Mrspelosi, Evan is waiting for you to leave so he can trash you.

March 25 2014 at 9:45 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
elendil3136

If you can't say something intelligent ..... well, obviously you can't, so never mind.

March 25 2014 at 10:07 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to elendil3136's comment
betty_brock

I'd call you an idiot but the Bible says not to call people what they are.

March 25 2014 at 11:00 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down
betty_brock

Here's a good one Evan:

I'm savemycountry / betty-brock.
My logic is solid as a rock.

You may use it if you want.

March 25 2014 at 9:32 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

I'm teabuster / demsrule / Evan.
I think Socialism/Communism is just heaven.

March 25 2014 at 9:29 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

I think Evan is afraid of mrspelosi because she's smart.

March 25 2014 at 9:24 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

Evan / rickperryoops is such a joke.
To pay his welfare we'll all go broke.

March 25 2014 at 9:21 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

I'm Evan / teabuster / repubslost.
Don't tell the Dems but they should all be tossed.

March 25 2014 at 9:19 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
teapartyisdying.uall

I'm Betty Brock a crackpot conservative.

March 25 2014 at 8:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to teapartyisdying.uall's comment
betty_brock

That doesn't even rhyme, Evan. You can do better.

March 25 2014 at 9:14 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply