Strong existing home sales lift markets

Sales of existing homes soared 6.1% in March to lift the markets higher during the midday with Dow gaining 51 points to 18,000. Nasdaq rose 8 points to 5,022.

On the upside

Brookfield Asset Management will pay a premium in  cash to acquire Associated Estates Realty (NYSE: AEC) in a transaction valued at approximately $2.5 billion including the assumption of debt.

CalAmp (Nasdaq: CAMP) impressed with sharply higher fourth quarter earnings and revenue that beat analyst expectations.

ASML Holding (Nasdaq: ASML) announced a contract to deliver a minimum of 15 ASML EUV lithography systems to a client.

On the downside

Super Micro Computer (Nasdaq: SMCI) reported higher third quarter earnings but the results fell short of analyst estimates.

Natural Resource Partners (NYSE: NRP) slashed its quarterly dividend from 35 cents per share to 9 cents per share payable on May 14, 2015 to shareholders of record May 5, 2015.

First quarter earnings rose for Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) but revenue and same store sales fell short of analyst expectations and the fast-casual restaurant chain warned that a shortage of pork will continue to negatively impact sales.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 rose 7 points to 2104. Bitcoin added $3 to $235. 

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