US stocks close higher amid strong earnings season

New York: US stocks closed higher, as the market was supported by a cheering start of the third-quarter corporate earnings season and modest manufacturing data of New York State.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 237.44 points, or 0.89 per cent, to 27,024.80. The S&P 500 increased 29.53 points, or 1.00 per cent, to 2,995.68. The Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 100.06 points, or 1.24 per cent, to 8,148.71, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded higher around market close, with the health care sector up nearly 1.8 per cent, leading the winners.

The vast majority of the blue-chip stocks extended gains around the closing bell, with shares of UnitedHealth Group and JPMorgan Chase up 8.16 per cent and 3.01 per cent respectively, leading the advancers.

The current earnings season was unveiled by the release of stronger-than-expected corporate performance in the third quarter from J.P. Morgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, UnitedHealth, BlackRock, and Citigroup.

Yet earnings results from Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo came shy of market estimates.

On the economic front, business activity grew slightly in New York State, according to firms responding to the October 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey released on Monday.

New York’s Empire State manufacturing index climbed to 4.0, up 2 points from September, driven by rising shipments and a small increase in new orders.

Indexes assessing the six-month outlook indicated that optimism about future conditions improved somewhat but remained subdued, the survey said.

Meanwhile, investors digested the lowering forecast for global economic growth by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was pegged at a rate of 3 per cent for 2019, marking the slowest pace since the global financial crisis.

The expected growth came down 0.2 percentage point from its estimation in July, according to the latest World Economic Outlook report issued on Tuesday.

The latest forecast was dampened primarily by rising trade barriers and increasing geopolitical tensions, IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath wrote in a blog post.

This post was last modified on October 16, 2019 9:25 am

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