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Stocks - Dow Ends Higher on Earnings Optimism

Stock MarketsApr 16, 2019 04:53PM ET
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© Reuters. - The Dow closed higher Tuesday as mostly-above-forecast earnings and a rebound in financials boosted sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.26%, the S&P 500 added 0.05%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.30%. The Nasdaq closed above 8,000 for the first time since Oct. 1.

A flurry of better-than-expected quarterly results eased investor concerns heading into the quarter that profits may have peaked.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) rose 1% after raising full-year guidance and delivering first-quarter results that topped expectations on both the top and bottom lines.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) also posted above-consensus earnings, but ended down 4% after management warned that Medicare for All, proposed by some Democratic lawmakers, would destabilize the health care system. UnitedHealth's decline subtracted nearly 63 points from the Dow.

The comments sparked a sharp selloff in health care stocks, pressuring the wider sector to end the day 1% lower.

The broader market was supported somewhat by financials, as banking stocks pared some of their losses from a day earlier following quarterly results from Bank of America and BlackRock.

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) rose 3.3% after topping estimates from and saw its assets under management top $6 billion after slipping below that yardstick in the previous quarter.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) ended the day roughly flat as its above-consensus earnings was offset somewhat by dour guidance on interest income. Chief Financial Officer Paul Donofrio told analysts on a conference call that the bank anticipates its net interest income growth will be 3% in 2019, well below the 6% last year.

Beyond earnings, energy also helped Wall Street as U.S. oil prices settled 1% higher, with the conflict in Libya and falling Iranian and Venezuelan exports fueling expectations for tightening global supply.

In tech, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) ended flat and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) surged 23% after the companies reached a truce on their years-long legal dispute over patent infringement and agreed to end all litigation.

Elsewhere in tech, Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) rose 2.2% as Sony previewed its next console, the PlayStation 5, which will include AMD's new chip and graphics hardware.

In other company news, Boeing (NYSE:BA) rose 1.8% following reports that the Federal Aviation Administration's flight standardization board has classified the aircraft maker's anti-stall software update to its grounded 737 MAX jets as "operationally suitable."

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Progressive (NYSE:PGR) and Omnicom Group (NYSE:OMC) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA), Cigna (NYSE:CI) and Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

Stocks - Dow Ends Higher on Earnings Optimism

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