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The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained today (Thursday) on positive news in the housing market. Data from the National Association of Realtors indicated a 1.3% increase in home sales in April. This is the first increase of the year.
Also contributing to the Dow's rise were abating concerns about the Chinese manufacturing sector.
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
DOW: 16,544.04, +0.07%
S&P 500: 1,892.52, +0.24%
NASDAQ: 4,154.34, +0.55%
And here are the top stories from today:
- Alibaba Will Love This: Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com (Nasdaq: JD) soared more than 14% in its first few minutes after raising $1.8 billion in its initial public offering today. Despite being priced at $19 last night, the stock was significantly oversubscribed as institutional buyers swarmed to get in on China's booming online sector. JD.com is a competitor of Alibaba, which is poised to make its debut in U.S. markets later this summer.
- Wage Battles Continue: Under fire from protestors this week, McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) CEO Don Thompson defended the company's wage policies to shareholders at the company's annual meeting. "We respect the fact that they want to challenge us relative to wages," Thompson said. "We pay fair and competitive wages and we provide opportunity, and we provide job opportunities and training for those entering the workforce." Fast-food workers have been protesting around the world for a steep increase in pay. Fast food workers and activists across the U.S. are demanding a minimum wage of $15 per hour from McDonald's and its rivals Burger King Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: BKW) and Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM).
- The Deals Continue: In another big energy deal, Marathon Petroleum (NYSE: MPC) has purchased Hess Corp.'s (NYSE: HES) retail business for $2.6 billion. Hess is turning toward oil and gas drilling. Meanwhile, Marathon, which owns retail giant Speedway, sees a strategic advantage in this acquisition. Right now, Hess' retail arm of gas stations and convenience stores is the largest on the East Coast of the United States.