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Earnings Power Rally for US Stocks     10/15 16:42

   Stocks notched solid gains on Wall Street Tuesday as investors welcomed 
surprisingly good quarterly results from some of the nation's biggest companies.

   (AP) -- Stocks notched solid gains on Wall Street Tuesday as investors 
welcomed surprisingly good quarterly results from some of the nation's biggest 
companies.

   Strong earnings from UnitedHealth Group, JPMorgan Chase and other companies 
helped power the market's broad gains, erasing modest losses from a day earlier.

   Investors are looking to the wave of quarterly report cards due out over the 
next few weeks to give them a clearer picture of what impact the trade war 
between the U.S. and China is having on corporate profits and the broader 
economy.

   The encouraging earnings reports came with a spate of surprisingly good 
forecasts for the rest of the year, which helped ease concerns about a slowdown 
due to the costly trade conflict.

   "That was what everybody was afraid of," said JJ Kinahan, chief market 
strategist for TD Ameritrade. "Instead, we got 'no, the future looks good.'"

   The S&P 500 index climbed 29.53 points, or 1%, to 2,995.68. The benchmark 
index is now 1% below its all-time high set in July.

   The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 237.44 points, or 0.9%, to 27,024.80. 
The Nasdaq gained 100.06 points, or 1.2%, to 8,148.71. Small-company stocks 
also bounced back after leading the decline a day earlier. The Russell 2000 
index picked up 17.87 points, or 1.2%, to 1,523.30.

   Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.77% from 1.75% 
late Friday. Bond markets were closed Monday for Columbus Day.

   Technology, health care, financial and communication services stocks drove 
much of Tuesday's broad rally, which gave the market its fourth gain in five 
days. Utilities and makers of consumer goods fell as investors regained an 
appetite for more risk. The sectors are considered safe-play holdings and 
usually lag the market when investors are more confident.

   The latest batch of company earnings reports gave investors a confidence 
boost that, for the moment, sidelined concerns about whether Washington and 
Beijing will be able to work out a trade deal.

   On Friday, the U.S. agreed to suspend a planned hike in tariffs on $250 
billion of Chinese goods that had been set to kick in Tuesday. Beijing, 
meanwhile, agreed to buy $40 billion to $50 billion in U.S. farm products.

   The U.S. did not, however, cancel plans for more tariffs in December and the 
sticking points of intellectual property and trade secrets still hang over the 
dispute.

   "There really isn't any pen to paper, it's just people talking and nothing 
definite," Kinahan said. "The earnings are definite."

   UnitedHealth Group jumped 8.2%, leading all S&P 500 stocks, after the 
company hiked its 2019 profit forecast following third-quarter results that 
beat Wall Street's expectations.

   Traders also bid up shares in other health insurers. Anthem gained 6%, Cigna 
added 5.7% and Humana rose 4.8%.

   Johnson & Johnson gained 1.6% after it raised its profit forecast for the 
year following solid third quarter results.

   JPMorgan Chase rose 3% after the bank beat Wall Street's third quarter 
profit forecasts. Citigroup also delivered solid results, lifting its shares 
1.4%.

   Other major banks, including Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo reported mixed 
results, but their shares still rose. Goldman Sachs added 0.3%, while Wells 
Fargo gained 1.7%.

   Investors have been worried that corporate profits could be hampered by the 
U.S. trade disputes with China and growing economic uncertainty. Corporate 
earnings are expected to contract by nearly 5% during the third quarter, 
according to FactSet.

   That forecast could soften as more companies report results for the third 
quarter. Similar forecasts were made ahead of both the first and second quarter 
reporting periods and companies in the S&P 500 managed to deliver only a modest 
contraction each time.

   Investors are in for a busy few days for corporate earnings, including Bank 
of America, railroad giant CSX, Netflix and IBM on Wednesday.

   Benchmark crude oil fell 78 cents to settle at $52.81 a barrel. Brent crude 
oil, the international standard, dropped 61 cents to close at $58.74 a barrel. 
Wholesale gasoline was unchanged at $1.61 per gallon. Heating oil declined 1 
cent to $1.91 per gallon. Natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.34 per 1,000 cubic 
feet.

   Gold fell $14.10 to $1,477.60 per ounce, silver fell 32 cents to $17.31 per 
ounce and copper fell 2 cents to $2.60 per pound.

   The dollar rose to 108.84 Japanese yen from 108.37 yen on Monday. The euro 
strengthened to $1.1035 from $1.1031.

   Major stock indexes in Europe closed mostly higher.


(CZ)

 
 
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