Global Stocks Jump, Helped by Strong Earnings in the US

AP Photo by Richard Drew, File
In this Oct. 11, 2018, file photo trader Thomas Ferrigno works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

NEW YORK (AP) — World stock markets are turning higher again Tuesday, helped by strong earnings reports from major U.S. companies. Investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, health care products company Johnson & Johnson and health insurer UnitedHealth all climbed after announcing their third-quarter results. Technology companies are also rising after their recent slump.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index jumped 25 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,776 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 237 points, or 0.9 percent, to 25,488.

The Nasdaq composite climbed 94 points, or 1.3 percent, to 7,526 as technology companies reversed some of their losses from the last few days. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 7 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,560.

Earnings for U.S. companies climbed about 20 percent in each of the first two quarters of 2018 as economic growth picked up and corporate taxes were slashed. Analysts expect similar results in the current period.

Stocks have gyrated over the last few days following one of their biggest declines of the year last week. The S&P 500 fell 6.9 percent from its record high on Sept. 20 to its recent low on Thursday. It suffered a dizzying 10 percent drop in just nine days in late January and early February, and lost 7.3 percent during a separate downturn in March.

HEALTHY: UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. health insurer and provider of privately-run Medicare Advantage plans, once again topped Wall Street forecasts and raised its projections for the year. The stock climbed 3.5 percent to $269.35. Other health insurers also rose. Humana gained 1.9 percent to $323.10 and Cigna advanced 1.9 percent to $207.80.

Health care products giant Johnson & Johnson rallied 2.7 percent to $137.57 after it said prescription sales jumped. Its results, too, were stronger than analysts expected. Johnson & Johnson and UnitedHealth are both Dow components.

WEALTHY: Morgan Stanley rose 3.1 percent to $44.82 and Goldman Sachs added 1.4 percent to $218.25 after the two investment banks did better than expected in the third quarter, helped by strong performance in their trading operations and better-than-expected revenue from stock underwriting. Both make most of their money from advising wealthy clients and corporations on deals, and Morgan is known for stock trading while Goldman Sachs emphasizes bonds, commodities and currencies.

Both have seen their stocks sink this year, with Morgan Stanley down about 15 percent and Goldman Sachs 14 percent lower.

TECH UPDATE: Technology companies rose. Microsoft jumped 1.8 percent to $109.53, and Adobe rallied 7.3 percent to $255.36 after it backed its fourth-quarter profit and revenue forecasts. The stock has jumped 46 percent this year, but had slumped in recent days. Internet companies also advanced. Alphabet, Google's parent company, rose 1.7 percent to $1,121.50 and Facebook added 1.4 percent to $155.63.

Email delivery company Sendgrid climbed 5.4 percent to $32.61 after cloud communications platform company Twilio agreed to buy it for $36.92 per share in stock, or $1.7 billion. Twilio fell 9.9 percent to $68.58.

ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude oil was little changed at $71.79 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 0.4 percent to $80.44 per barrel in London.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 3.16 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.12 yen from 111.88 yen. The euro rose to $1.1598 from $1.1584.

OVERSEAS: France's CAC 40 added 1.1 percent while the DAX in Germany jumped 0.9 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.1 percent. Italy's FTSE MIB jumped 1.8 percent after the government avoided last-minute delays in presenting a budget plan.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rallied 1.2 percent and the Kospi in South Korea was little changed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index finished 0.1 percent higher.


By Marley Jay


Categories: Finance, Today’s Business News, World News