May 23 - Summary: Encouraging housing data lifts S&P to new record; HP shares jump after job cut news; Aeropostale's big miss. Bobbi Rebell reports.
A new record for the S&P 500 thanks to strength in housing. The Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq closing the final trading session of the week higher. For the week, the Dow and the Nasdaq all posting gains - the Nasdaq up more than 2 percent. Sales of new single-family homes in the U.S. topped expectations, and the stock of houses on the market hit a 3-1/2 year-high. Susan Wachter, professor of real estate at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. (SOUNDBITE) SUSAN WACHTER, PROFESSOR OF REAL ESTATE, THE WHARTON SCHOOL OF UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "I think there is point to a melting, a spring thaw, if you like, in the housing crunch that's holding back the entire market. I don't expect this to lead to a strong spring resurgence of growth, but it will, in fact lead to more growth, and I anticipate that's a good thing, because overall economic growth is weak, and housing is part of that story." The good housing news pushed shares of U.S. homebuilders, with Lennar and D.R. Horton both making solid gains. One day after Hewlett-Packard said it may trim as many as 16,000 more jobs, its stock shot up 6 percent. The trimming is a part of a massive turnaround at HP. The company is trying to reduce its reliance on the PC market and move towards computing equipment and networking gear for businesses. The stock of the teen apparel retailer Aeropostale got hammered on Friday after the company posted its seventh straight quarterly decline in comparable sales. The company also forecast a bigger-than-expected loss for the current quarter. European investors steered clear of big bets, but closed mostly higher before a long weekend in the UK and elections in Ukraine.