U.S. stocks add to gains
U.S. stocks moved solidly higher in late-afternoon trading Tuesday, placing the market on course to finish with a gain for the second straight day. Technology stocks, retailers and other consumer-focused companies accounted for much of the broad rally. Some banks declined as bond yields fell. Investors were weighing mostly upbeat corporate earnings reports and economic data.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 33 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,711 as of 3:25 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 255 points, or 1 percent, to 24,828. The Nasdaq composite climbed 133 points, or 1.9 percent, to 7,289. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 16 points, or 1 percent, to 1,579.
THE QUOTE: “Even though we’re early in the earnings season, the fact that we continue to see good earnings and earnings growth come out is really what’s driving the market,” said Nana Adae, global investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. “Earnings growth ties to fundamentals and fundamentals are key.”
BINGEWORTHY: Netflix jumped 8.5 percent to $334.04 after the video streaming service said it gained 7.4 million subscribers in the first quarter, more than analysts expected.
LOOKING HEALTHY: UnitedHealth climbed 3.2 percent to $237.77 after it reported a 31 percent jump in first-quarter profit and said it gained Medicare Advantage and Medicaid customers. The nation’s largest health insurer also raised its forecast for 2018.
GOOD CHEMISTRY: Celanese gained 3.6 percent to $110.22 after the chemical company’s latest results beat analysts’ estimates. The company also raised its annual forecasts.
MIXED RESULTS: Shares in Johnson & Johnson fell 1.3 percent to $130.10 after much-higher spending and one-time charges offset a big jump in the company’s first-quarter revenue.
SHORTCIRCUITED: Tesla Motors slid 1.7 percent to $286.10 following reports it has stopped production of its lower priced Model 3 sedan.
TURBULENT TURN: Shares in Southwest Airlines fell 1.7 percent to $53.96 after one person was killed and others were injured when one of the airline’s jets made an emergency landing at Philadelphia’s airport Tuesday following an engine failure.
ON THE ECONOMY: The International Monetary Fund upgraded its economic outlook for the United States in 2018, forecasting that the U.S. economy will grow 2.9 percent this year, up from the 2.7 percent it had forecast in January and from the 2.3 percent growth the economy achieved last year. The Federal Reserve said that U.S. factory output rose slightly last month. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said that housing starts rose in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.32 million. Homebuilders rose. Hovnanian Enterprises was among the biggest gainers, climbing 4.4 percent to $2.02.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 30 cents to settle at $66.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 16 cents to close at $71.58 per barrel. In other energy futures trading, heating oil dropped 1 cent to $2.06 a gallon. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $2.04 a gallon. Natural gas fell 1 cent to $2.74 per 1,000 cubic feet.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 2.81 percent from 2.83 percent late Monday. The decline in bond yields, which influence interest rates on mortgages and other loans, weighed on some bank shares. Comerica fell 3.2 percent to $92.99.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 107.02 yen from 107.10 yen late Monday. The euro fell to $1.2367 from $1.2381.
METALS: Gold fell $1.20 to $1,349.50 an ounce. Silver added 11 cents to $16.79 an ounce. Copper slipped 2 cents to $3.08 a pound.
OVERSEAS: Major indexes in Europe posted gains. Germany’s DAX climbed 1.6 percent, while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.8 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.4 percent. In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged 0.1 percent higher, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was unchanged. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.9 percent after new data showed China’s economic growth held steady in the first quarter.