LONDON (SHARECAST) - US stocks were showing small gains on Wednesday as the Bank of Japan announced increased stimulus measures and house sales figures surprised on the upside.
The number of previously owned home sales rose 7.8% in August to reach an annualised rate of 4.82m, higher than the consensus forecast of around 4.6m
Meanwhile in Japan, monetary policy officials have decided to increase purchases of government debt up to the level of 55 trillion yen (£430bn).
US breakfast cereals maker General Mills reported earnings per share (EPS) of 66 cents for its fiscal first quarter, topping the 63 cents expected by the consensus.
Revenue rose 5% to $4.05bn with the help of its recently acquired yoghurt unit Yoplait International. Analysts were expecting a just slightly higher figure of $4.08bn.
Looking forward, General Mills reiterated its full-year EPS outlook of $2.65, more or less in line with the consensus estimate of $2.66.
Bank of America saw decent gains on the back of the improved housing picture.
Corning, which makes flat panel TV screens got a boost after a recommendation from analysts at Goldman Sachs.
Groupon, the discount and daily deal outfit, rose sharply on news of a new payment system product that will reduced card fees for retailers.
S&P 500 - Risers
PulteGroup Inc. (PHM) $16.73 +6.15%
AutoZone Inc. (AZO) $374.17 +4.56%
D. R. Horton Inc. (DHI) $22.29 +4.40%
Gannett Co. Inc. (GCI) $18.19 +3.79%
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) $13.41 +3.55%
First Solar Inc. (FSLR) $23.97 +3.54%
Sandisk Corp. (SNDK) $46.70 +3.34%
Monsanto Co. (MON) $91.75 +3.02%
Sherwin-Williams Co. (SHW) $149.82 +2.98%
Regions Financial Corp. (RF) $7.49 +2.88%
S&P 500 - Fallers
KLA-Tencor Corp. (KLAC) $48.76 -4.11%
Waste Management Inc. (WM) $33.00 -2.77%
Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) $32.81 -2.66%
Alpha Natural Res (ANR) $7.70 -2.35%
Newfield Exploration Co (NFX) $33.49 -2.28%
Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $11.49 -1.88%
Rowan Companies plc (RDC) $36.19 -1.79%
Apache Corp. (APA) $89.22 -1.58%
Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) $75.05 -1.55%
Mattel Inc. (MAT) $35.44 -1.54%
Dow Jones I.A - Risers
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) $9.39 +1.68%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $59.84 +1.66%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $51.97 +1.37%
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) $24.32 +1.31%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $52.54 +1.23%
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $44.61 +1.20%
Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Boeing Co. (BA) $70.17 -0.40%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $116.74 -0.20%