Stocks rise on Wall Street after 3 days of losses 

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  • AP Photo/Richard Drew
  • Trader John Panin, left, and specialist Jay Woods work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Stocks are higher in early trading on Wall Street as the stock market turns positive after three days of losses.

U.S. stocks rose for the first time in four days Tuesday following a slump caused by worries about global growth.

Emerging markets stabilized earlier as policymakers in Turkey said they would take action to stem the decline of the nation's currency. In the U.S., earnings gains from big companies, including Pfizer and Comcast, helped lift stock markets.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,788 as of 1 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 64 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,902. The Nasdaq eased one point, or 0.3 percent, to 4,082.

STOPPING THE ROT: The Turkish lira was little changed against the dollar after the nation's central bank signaled that it was preparing to reverse course and raise interest rates to fight inflation. The currency's decline was at the center of an emerging-market slump that prompted the global sell-off in stocks last week. The lira was trading at 2.30 per dollar on Tuesday and has fallen 5 percent against the dollar this year.

STEADIER WORLD STOCKS: Global financial markets stabilized Tuesday, following several days of turmoil in stocks and emerging-market currencies. The FTSE 100 index of leading British closed up 0.3 percent at 6,572 while Germany's DAX rose 0.6 percent to 9,406. The CAC-40 in France rose 1 percent to 4,185. Asian markets were mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.2 percent to 14,980 and while South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.3 percent to 1,916.

THE LAST BIG THING: Apple slumped $39.93, or 7 percent, to $510.57 after the company's first-quarter results released late Monday disappointed investors. The stock is down 9 percent this year. First-quarter shipments of iPhones were below expectations, reinforcing perceptions that Apple is now mostly selling its mobile devices to repeat customers who are upgrading, instead of reeling in new customers. Apple also provided a cautious second-quarter revenue forecast.

CABLE GUYS: Comcast rose 45 cents, or 1 percent, to $53.94. The cable company said it added 43,000 video subscribers in the fourth quarter, its first gain in six and a half years as its X1 set-top box helped it retain customers and increase revenue from video-on-demand. Comcast also said it is raising its quarterly dividend and will buy back more of its own stock.

U.S. EARNINGS: Fourth-quarter earnings at major U.S. companies are projected to rise by 6 percent in the fourth quarter from the same period a year earlier. Of companies that have reported results, about two-thirds have met or beaten expectations, according to S&P Capital IQ.

After signs of accelerating economic growth in the fourth quarter, some investors are disappointed that companies aren't seeing stronger demand.

"People were hoping, generally, for better earnings," said David Lafferty, chief market strategist for Natixis Global Asset Management. "We've sort of met expectations, but we haven't significantly exceeded them."

THE FED: Most analysts expect that Federal Reserve policymakers will further reduce the central bank's bond purchases by $10 billion to $65 billion following a two-day meeting that starts Tuesday. The Fed has been buying the bonds to hold down long-term interest rates, encouraging lending and hiring. The policy also helped power a stock market rally last year that pushed markets to record levels.

DRUGS BEAT: Pfizer gained 73 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $30.40 after the company's earnings beat analyst expectations, helped by lower costs. Health-care stocks had some of the biggest gains of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index.

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up 2.76 percent from 2.75 percent. The price of oil rose $1.64, or 1.7 percent, to $97.34 a barrel. Gold fell $12.30, or 1 percent, to $1,251 an ounce.

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