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Stocks Consolidate after Weak Confidence Data

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Stocks Consolidate after Weak Confidence Data

US stocks opened the session in the black but hovered near unchanged for most of the trading session. Toward the end of the day investors boosted the major indexes pushing the S&P 500 to a new all-time high. Economic data was mixed to negative with Durable goods showing a solid headline number but consumer sentiment dipping. Earnings continued to impress with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) notching up solid revenue numbers which was released after the closing bell on Thursday.

In economic news, US durable goods orders climbed 3.7%, above expectations of a 2.3% gain. Durable goods orders ex-transportation fell 0.1%, versus expectations for a 0.5% rise. Large orders from Boeing accounted for most of the climb in the headline number. New orders of non-military capital goods other than aircraft, an indicator of business spending plans, fell 1.1 percent last month, according to the Commerce Department.

Sentiment dipped significantly in the latest reading of consumer confidence. The consumer confidence index fell to 73.2 from October’s 77.5 print. Economists had forecast a smaller drop to 75.0. The economic conditions sub-index fell to 89.9 from September’s 92.6 reading, while the economic outlook sub-index fell to 62.5 from 67.8.

The most impressive earnings results came from Dow component Microsoft which hit the cover off the ball in the quarter ending September 30, 2013. Microsoft’s fiscal first quarter earnings climbed 16% to $5.2 billion as net profits easily beat expectations. Per share earnings came in at $0.62 and revenue also rising 16% to $18.53 billion. Microsoft’s performance was boosted by strong corporate sales of its Office and server software.

Twitter announced today that the company’s IPO will value company at up to $10.9 billion. Twitter which will list on the NYSE, intends to raise $1.19-1.4 billion in its IPO by selling 70 million shares at $17-20 each, giving the company a market cap of $9.3-10.9 billion.

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