S&P 500 has best win streak since 2009
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The bulls are running on Wall Street.
The S&P 500 closed at a record high Tuesday, while the Nasdaq finished at its highest level in more than 12 years.
Both indexes clocked their sixth straight monthly gain in April -- the best streak since the bull market began in March 2009.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose for its fifth straight month in April, and closed just 0.3% shy of its all-time high reached earlier in the month.
With stocks at new milestones, here are five things to know about the market:
1. Apple leads the way: Apple shares rose almost 3% Tuesday, as the company took another a step toward the largest sale of corporate bonds ever. The company is expected to offer $17 billion worth of bonds later Tuesday, according to the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
The advance in Apple's stock, which is now up almost 15% from its 16-month low hit earlier this month, boosted the tech-heavy Nasdaq as well as the broader market.
IBM and Microsoft led the Dow's gains for the day.
2. Home prices jump, consumers feeling better: The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose a slightly-higher-than-expected 9.3% in February, marking the biggest gain since May 2006, near the height of the housing bubble.
The Conference Board's monthly consumer confidence index rose to a five-month high of 68.1 in April.
On the downside, the Institute for Supply Management's index of manufacturing activity in the Midwest dropped to 49 in April, missing expectations and and signaling contraction in the sector for the first time since September 2009. The ISM's reading on national manufacturing activity is due Wednesday, and economists are still expecting it to show a modest expansion.
3. Best Buy big winner: Shares of Best Buy rallied after the retailer announced an agreement to sell its European stake to Carphone Warehouse. The stock was the top performer in the S&P 500 Tuesday, and is the second-biggest gainer in the broad index this year, with shares up more than 120% in 2013.
4. U.S. earnings disappoint, Europe earnings surprise: Pfizer posted worse-than-expected profit and sales and lowered its outlook for the year. The lackluster results sent shares of the drug maker down more than 3%, making it the biggest loser in the Dow.
Pitney Bowes reported earnings that plunged from a year ago and came in below expectations. The mailing and package services company also slashed its quarterly dividend in half. Shares tumbled almost 20%, making Pitney Bowes the biggest decliner in the S&P 500.
But earnings out of European companies including oil giant BP and banks UBS and Deutsche Bank surprised investors with better-than-expected results. Shares of all three companies were sharply higher.
5. Bracing for central banks: Investors are gearing up for monetary policy announcements later this week from the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.