Stocks rose after weak economc news implied a rate hike would not come very soon. Gap reported a drop in quarterly profits. Hewlett-Packard results beat forecasts. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Investors took weak economic news as good news, sending the S&P 500 to a new all time high. Bad economic news taken as confirmation rate hikes would be later rather than sooner. After hours earnings highlights included Hewlett Packard with an earnings beat thanks to lower costs. Gap reported an eight percent drop in quarterly profits hurt by the stronger dollar. The owner of Banana Republic, Athleta and Old Navy also faced supply delays and lower demand for its namesake Gap brand. Home re-sales unexpectedly fell last month. The number of Americans filing jobless claims rose more than expected last week. And the stronger dollar and lower energy prices pushed down a key manufacturing gauge last month. Lumber Liquidators' shares tumbled after its CEO, Robert Lynch, suddenly resigned just weeks after its CFO quit. Several agencies are investigating the retailer after a TV report saying that its Chinese laminate flooring has toxic levels of formaldehyde. Reuters' markets editor David Gaffen: SOUNDBITE: DAVID GAFFEN, MARKETS EDITOR, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The CEO is the leader of the company. expected to be there, and when they just sort of abruptly resign, that does not suggest confidence in whatever is happening with the company right now." Best Buy's shares shot up after the U.S.' largest consumer electronics retailer reported profit that blew past analysts expectations. Big TVs and smart phones drove sales. CVS is buying a supplier of prescription drugs to heathcare facilities. The drugstore operator is paying more than $10 billion for Omnicare. Shares of both companies rose. Over in Europe, a good day for stocks. The major indexes closing higher.