You are here
First winning week of April for US stocks
NEW YORK—Stronger profits from Microsoft, McDonald’s and other major US corporations pushed stocks higher Friday. Optimism from Europe helped brighten the mood. The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index had a winning week for the first time this month.
Before the market opened, McDonald’s posted better quarterly profits, buoyed by warm weather and sales of new menu items like Chicken McBites and oatmeal. Sales picked up even in Europe, McDonald’s’ biggest market, despite economic turmoil and severe weather.
Microsoft beat analysts’ projections with quarterly earnings and revenue, and sales in its Windows division were surprisingly strong. And General Electric posted a profit of more than US$3 billion, helped by orders for locomotives, aircraft engines and other equipment. The Dow rose 65.16 points to close at 13,029.26. The S&P 500 added 1.61 points to 1,378.53.
Corporate earnings results have provided a pleasant surprise, said Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ. After nine straight quarters of growth, earnings for S&P 500 companies were expected to be nearly flat. But eight of every ten companies that have reported so far, including Coca-Cola and IBM, have beaten estimates.
As a result, first-quarter earnings are now projected to rise 4.4 per cent, according to S&P. In Europe, Germany’s DAX rose 1.2 per cent, and stock indexes in France and Spain were higher. A closely watched survey in Germany, the continent’s economic powerhouse, showed business optimism rising for the sixth straight month. Economists had expected a decline.
In other US trading, Apple sank 2.5 per cent, helping to tug the Nasdaq composite index down 7.11 points to 3,000.45. Apple, the most valuable company in the world, accounts for 12 per cent of the Nasdaq. The Dow gained 1.4 per cent this week, and the S&P 500 index 0.6 per cent. But it wasn’t a smooth ride.
Better earnings reports and higher retail sales helped drive the stock market up to start the week. The Dow rose 194 points on Tuesday, its best day in more than a month.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.