closing bell

Dow Finishes Up 63, Nasdaq Rises 8

Earnings have been strong enough this season to drive a five-day winning streak for the S&P 500 and put the Dow on track for its biggest monthly percentage gain since October 2011. Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago, said traders have been encouraged by the number of companies beating analysts' profit expectations.
By
Associated Press,

Strong earnings reports from big U.S. companies helped push the Dow Jones industrial average to its eighth gain in nine sessions Tuesday.

DuPont, Verizon and Travelers Cos., three of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow, closed higher after reporting their financial results for the final quarter of 2012.

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The Dow closed up 62.51 points, or 0.5 percent, at 13,712.21. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 6.53, or 0.4 percent, to 1,492.51. The Nasdaq composite average rose 8.47, or 0.3 percent, to 3,143.18.

The indexes spent the morning edging between small gains and losses. Around noon, the Dow rose decisively and stayed higher for the rest of the day.

Earnings have been strong enough this season to drive a five-day winning streak for the S&P 500 and put the Dow on track for its biggest monthly percentage gain since October 2011. Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago, said traders have been encouraged by the number of companies beating analysts' profit expectations.

"Granted, we have diminished expectations, but companies are doing a decent job beating on the profit side," he said. The revenue side of the equation has been weaker, Ablin said, preventing a stronger updraft for stocks. Traders might gain more confidence if companies reported stronger demand from emerging markets and Europe, he said.

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"The U.S. has been pulling this wagon by itself for the last couple years, and now we're facing some austerity measures. We could certainly use a hand," he said.

Among the Dow components that reported early Tuesday, chemical and bioscience company DuPont reported a sharp drop in net income on weakness in its electronics, communications and other businesses, but the results still beat analysts' forecasts. DuPont's stock closed up 83 cents, or 1.8 percent, at $47.82.

Johnson & Johnson said higher sales helped boost its profit from a year ago, when results were weighed down by a slew of one-time charges. However, the company's 2013 profit forecast fell short of analysts' estimates. J&J dropped 54 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $72.69.

Verizon Communications Inc. rose after the country's biggest wireless carrier said it activated a record number of new devices on contract-based plans in the fourth quarter. Verizon's net loss widened on restructuring and pension costs and expenses related to the cleanup from Superstorm Sandy. Its stock rose 40 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $42.94.

A fourth member of the Dow 30, property and casualty insurer Travelers Cos., rose strongly after it said core income categories like investments and premiums written rose. Net income fell because of claims filed in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. The stock shot up $1.64, or 2.2 percent, to $77.95, an all-time closing high. Travelers has risen nearly 27 percent over the past 12 months.

The market was closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Yet another company hit by Superstorm Sandy was Delta Air Lines, which said its fourth-quarter profit was nearly wiped out after it was forced to cancel more than 20,000 flights. The storm hit Delta harder than other airlines because it slowed operations at Delta's new oil refinery near Philadelphia. The results were still better than analysts were expecting. Delta rose 40 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $14.01.

Tech behemoths Google and IBM reported solid earnings gains after the market closed. Tech companies' results are being watched closely because many of them have warned about a weak fourth quarter.

Google soared after saying its fourth-quarter earnings rose 7 percent as online advertisers spent more money in pursuit of holiday shoppers. The stock gained $29.13, or 4.1 percent, to $732 in after-hours trading.

IBM said its net income rose 6 percent. The stock rose $6.82, or 3.5 percent, to $202.90 in late trading.

Apple reports after the bell Wednesday.

Freight rail companies are another key category at this stage in the economic recovery. They are seen as a proxy for the broader economy because their results track the demand for transportation of materials used in manufacturing and goods sold to consumers and businesses.

Two big railroads reported after the closing bell. CSX gained 74 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $21.55 in after-hours trading after beating analysts' expectations. Norfolk Southern rose $1.05, or 1.6 percent, to $67.99 after the bell.

Some homebuilder stocks fell after the National Association of Homebuilders said sales of previously occupied homes dipped to an annual pace of 4.94 million in December from 4.99 million in November. November's figure was revised lower, but was still the highest in three years.

Lennar Corp. fell a penny to $42.07. Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. lost 6 cents to $6.24.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was unchanged at 1.84 percent.

Benchmark oil rose 62 cents to $96.66 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, as global economic reports remained generally positive.

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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 27, 2016
  • 1.
    3.0/11
  • 2.
    1.8/6
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    1.2/4
  • 4.
    0.9/3
  • 5.
    0.6/2
  • 6.
    0.2/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

    The second reboot of the 1980s John Candy movie Uncle Buck, bumped by ABC from midseason, has the same tired jokes you'll find on any second-rate sitcom. Too bad, because Mike Epps is appealing and ABC would be wise to keep him around for future shows, but there’s just not enough to this show to suggest it will last past summer. It also airs against NBC’s America’s Got Talent, summer’s No. 1 program on broadcast, which may make it even harder to find an audience.

  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

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