News Worms
News Worms


Markets Right Now: Stocks move higher at midday

Energy companies skidded. Chevron $1.71, or 1.6 percent, to $103.97 and Marathon Oil sank 65 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $15.09.

At 9.44am ET (1344 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 12 points, or 0.06 percent, at 20,511.28, the S&P 500 was up 6.37 points, or 0.27 percent, at 2,348.56 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 28.40 points, or 0.49 percent, at 5,877.87.

Overall profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 10.7 percent in the latest quarter - the best since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The Nasdaq composite increased 13 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,863.

"Crude broke $52 on WTI, that is the strongest correlation we have right now away from the case-by-case earnings we have", said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in NY.

On the flipside, shares of Morgan Stanley rose, trading 2.8 percent stronger as of 1.54pm in NY, as the bank posted stronger-than-expected earnings bolstered by bond trading revenue.

Tepid quarterly numbers from Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) raised worries about pricey market valuations and pulled the major US stock indexes lower on Tuesday. Carmakers and auto parts suppliers are rising, as are other consumer-focused companies. Based on its point loss, this represents a drag on the Dow of roughly 52 points. Morgan Stanley (MS) closed up 2% following stronger-than-expected earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/morgan-stanley-profit-rises-well-above-views-2017-04-19), which helped offset the weak read out of Goldman Sachs (MS) on Tuesday. The Russell 2000 index, which is made up of smaller companies that tend to be more USA -focused, added 5.24 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,367.13 after a late gain a day ago.

The Dow edged down 33 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,488.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.12-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.52-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were lower, lifting yields to 2.21% from Tuesday's 2.18%.

With Wall Street near record levels and worries over President Donald Trump's ability to carry out his pro-growth promises, investors are hoping quarterly earnings will justify pricey market valuations.

BANK COMEBACK: Wealth management and investment banking firm Morgan Stanley said its profit jumped in the first quarter as its stock and bond trading businesses made about twice as much money as they did one year ago. Higher yields allow banks to charge higher interest rates on loans.

Shares of Bank of America, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo edged up slightly.

HIGH-TECH TROUBLE: Technology and consulting company IBM slumped after a weak sales report. Of the 45 S&P 500 companies that have released results so far, almost 76 percent have topped earnings estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

International Business Machines Corp.'s stock tumble is knocking the Dow Jones Industrial Average into negative territory Wednesday, while the other major market indexes rally.

BONDS: Bond prices fell, reversing most of their gains from a day earlier.

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