business‎ > ‎

Strong technology earnings boost Wall Street

posted 19 Jul 2012, 14:42 by Mpelembe   [ updated 19 Jul 2012, 14:43 ]

Wall Street rises, S&P 500 at 2 1/2-month high.

U.S. stocks rose on Thursday (July 19) for a third straight day, with the S&P 500 at a 2-1/2 month high, as earnings from technology companies and expectations for more monetary stimulus outweighed weak economic data.
So far in this earnings season a majority of companies have beaten analysts' lowered expectations. In the latest boost, IBM raised its full-year outlook, eBay's profit beat forecasts and Qualcomm said its expects a "strong December quarter."

Weak manufacturing and employment data as well as falling revenue at investment bank Morgan Stanley, which sent its shares down more than 5 percent, capped gains in the wider market. The S&P financial index fell 1 percent.

Even so, expectations that the Federal Reserve will soon step up stimulus efforts have helped the market shake off bad news. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said this week that the U.S. central bank would act if the outlook worsened.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 34.66 points, or 0.27 percent, to 12,943.36. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 3.73 points, or 0.27 percent, to 1,376.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 23.30 points, or 0.79 percent, to 2,965.90.

But despite the Nasdaq's out-performance compared with the other indexes, decliners in the index beat advancers by a ratio of more than 5 to 4. Investors like to see advancers beating decliners by a wide margin to confirm market strength.

The S&P is at its highest level since early May. Some investors are pointing to a trading range between recent highs above 1,400 and a low in June around 1,280.