U.S. Stocks Move Higher On Solid Earnings

U.S. Stocks Move Higher On Solid Earnings

New York (AFP) – U.S. stocks Tuesday moved higher amid mostly positive corporate earnings reports as markets resumed trade following Monday’s Martin Luther King holiday.

About 35 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 11.84 (0.07 percent) to 16,470.40.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 7.96 (0.43 percent) to 1,846.66, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 25.77 (0.61 percent) to 4,223.35.

Solid earnings from Johnson & Johnson, Delta Air Lines and others boosted sentiment at the start of another busy week of fourth quarter earnings releases.

“The guidance heard this week could go a long way toward helping the broader market break out of its early-year stupor or, conversely, leave it feeling some wintertime blues,” said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare.

Analysts also pointed to a move by China’s central bank to inject $42.1 billion worth of cash into the world’s second biggest economy as positive for growth.

Delta jumped 3.4 percent after earnings came in at 65 cents per share, two cents above expectations. Traffic rose 2.0 percent in the most recent quarter.

Dow component Johnson & Johnson fell 1.8 percent after reporting net income of $1.23 per share, three cents above analyst expectations. But the company forecast 2014 earnings of $5.75-$5.85 per share, whereas analysts project $5.85.

Dow Chemical shot up 5 percent following reports that activist hedge fund Third Point had taken a stake in the company and was pressing for a reorganization of assets.

Aluminum company Alcoa rose 6.5 percent after JPMorgan Chase upgraded the stock on a tightening market for the metal.

Mondelez International fell 2.5 percent after announcing that activist shareholder Nelson Peltz would join its board. Peltz reportedly is dropping his campaign to push Mondelez to merge with Pepsico.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury held steady at 2.83 percent, the same level as Friday. The 30-year bond slipped to 3.75 percent from 3.76 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

AFP Photo/Spencer Platt

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