Published On: Tue, Apr 23rd, 2019

Upbeat earnings boost Wall Street

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Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

April 23, 2019

By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks edged higher on Tuesday, as upbeat results from Coca-Cola, Twitter and a host of industrial companies allayed investor concerns about slowing profits.

Wall Street’s main indexes hovered below record levels as investors wait to see if results from major companies ease concerns about an earnings recession.

Among the biggest boosts to the S&P 500 was Twitter Inc which surged 13.6%, touching a near nine-month high, after posting better-than-expected quarterly revenue and a surprise rise in monthly active users.

Coca-Cola Co rose 2.6% after its quarterly sales beat estimates.

Profits at S&P 500 companies are expected to decline 1.7% in the first quarter, in what could be the first earnings contraction since 2016. However, forecasts have improved slightly since the start of April.

“Nobody is quite sure what the earnings are going to look like and a lot of analysts have lowered expectations,” said Mark Grant, chief global strategist at B. Riley FBR Inc.

“So we may get some kind of a pop as people realize that things aren’t quite as bad as they feared.”

At 9:59 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 45.80 points, or 0.17%, at 26,556.85, the S&P 500 was up 7.65 points, or 0.26%, at 2,915.62 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 41.37 points, or 0.52%, at 8,056.63.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with technology sector’s 0.6% gain providing the biggest boost.

Microsoft Corp, set to report later this week, rose 0.9%, while Qualcomm Inc gained 2.7% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the chipmaker to “overweight” from “equal-weight”.

Industrial stocks got a lift from gains in aerospace supplier United Technologies Corp and weapons maker Lockheed Martin Corp after both the companies raised full-year profit forecasts.

Walt Disney Co rose 1.6% ahead of the worldwide release of “Avengers: Endgame”, which is set to hit theaters around the globe on Wednesday.

Among decliners, Procter & Gamble Co fell 3.2% after its quarterly EBIT margin missed estimates, despite reporting better-than-expected quarterly results.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.53-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.45-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 25 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 38 new highs and 24 new lows.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Shounak Dasgupta)

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