US stocks rise on strong earnings
US stocks resumed their upward climb after the Standard & Poor’s 500 wasn’t able to extend its rally for a sixth day Wednesday. Market participants weighed the latest batch of economic data against another strong day of earnings from S&P 500 companies.
PulteGroup Inc (NYSE:PHM) helped propel homebuilders more than 3 percent higher after the company’s profits surged. American pharmaceutical company McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) advanced 4.8 percent after increasing its annual forecast and agreeing to acquire German-based pharmaceutical company Celesio AG. In the technology sector, US-based multinational software provider Citrix Systems jumped 4.8 percent after boosting its share buyback.
On the economic front, the US manufacturing industry faced several hurdles in October, leading to the worst output growth since September 2009. In total, the manufacturing sector grew at its slowest pace in 12 months, according to Markit Group.
Elsewhere, 12,000 fewer Americans applied for jobless benefits last week, according to the Labor Department. However, jobless claims remain elevated by around 10,000, according to a median estimate of economists.
The S&P 500 advanced more than 0.3 percent to 1,752.07, extending its month-long rally to 4.2 percent. The benchmark gauge has been on the offensive since the United States Senate struck an accord to end the budget impasse and avoid default. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 95 points to 15,509.20 after 20 of its 30 members reported gains. The Dow’s best performers were The Home Depot, Visa and US chemical company DuPont, each rising at least 1.93 percent.
Elsewhere, the NASDAQ Composite registered a gain of 0.53 percent to 3,928.96 after a solid performance from the tech industry.
The earnings scorecard shows S&P 500 companies continue to beat estimates. Three-quarters of the 212 companies to report earnings have beat analysts’ profit forecast, with an additional 53 percent exceeding sales estimates. Strong earnings and prolonged Federal Reserve stimulus will continue to support the equities market for the rest of the year. These factors have helped the S&P 500 and NASDAQ gain at least 23 percent this year.
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