Higher close as new home construction soars

A stronger than expected gain in new home construction lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow gaining 44 points to 16,491. Nasdaq climbed 21 points to 4,090.

On the upside

First quarter earnings slipped for Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) but the results were better than expected.

Kingold Jewelry (Nasdaq: KGJI) reported sharply higher first quarter earnings that surged fivefold.

Dillard's (NYSE: DDS) reported lower first quarter earnings but the results surpassed analyst expectations.

On the downside

Smart Technologies (Nasdaq: SMT) narrowed fourth quarter losses but revenue fell short of analyst expectations.

EveryWare Global (Nasdaq: EVRY) fell to a greater than expected loss for the first quarter and announced the temporary closure of two factories.

Shares of RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) continued falling after Fitch downgraded the consumer electronics retailer yesterday.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 gained 7 points to 1877. Bitcoin added $1.31 or 0.29% to $444.85.

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