Benchmarks ended in the green zone yesterday as investors were
encouraged by better-than-expected corporate earnings results.
Halliburton, Hasbro, Kimberly-Clark and SunTrust Banks reported
upbeat quarterly results. Also, an increase in Conference Board's
leading economic index somewhat added to the bullish mood. The
S&P rose for five straight sessions, its longest winning
streak since October 2013.
For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure
to read today's
Ahead of Wall Street
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.3% to close
Monday's trading session at 16,449.25. The Standard & Poor
500 (S&P 500) rose 0.4% to finish at 1,871.89. The tech-laden
Nasdaq Composite Index went up 0.6% to 4,121.55. The
fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) dropped 0.8% to settle at
13.25. Total volume for the day was roughly 4.34 billion shares,
lower than this month's average of 6.83 billion. Declining stocks
were outnumbered by advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 37% stocks
that declined, 59% advanced.
The day's upbeat quarterly results had a positive impact on the
broader markets. Major oilfield services provider Halliburton
) reported earnings per share from continuing operations of 73
cents, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 71 cents. The
figure also surpassed the first-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of
67 cents. Improved simulation work in the U.S. and increase in
profits from its pressure pumping business in Argentina were
cited to be the reasons behind the strong first-quarter 2014
Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:
) posted first quarter 2014 adjusted earnings per share of 14
cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 11 cents by 27.2%.
The adjusted earnings per share were also up 180.0% from 5 cents
reported in the year-ago quarter. Hasbro's net revenue of $679.0
million increased 2.4% year over year. Also, decline in expenses
and lower share count contributed to the increase in earnings per
SunTrust Banks, Inc.'s (NYSE:
) first-quarter 2014 earnings per share of 73 cents outpaced the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of 67 cents on the back of lower
provisions and prudent expense management.
Consumer products giant Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE:
) posted adjusted earnings of $1.48 per share in the first
quarter of 2014. Earnings were in line with the Zacks Consensus
Estimate and the year-ago figure. Growth in organic sales, cost
savings and lower selling & administration expenses boosted
earnings. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:
) also reported upbeat results after the closing bell.
Shares of Halliburton, Hasbro and SunTrust Banks increased 3.3%,
1.9% and 1.5%, respectively. However, shares of Kimberly-Clark
Investors also welcomed promising economic numbers. The
Conference Board's leading economic index increased 0.8% in March
after it gained 0.5% in February. The rise was also more than the
consensus expectation of a 0.6% increase. This indicated that
growth in economic activities could accelerate in the coming
Striking a positive note, Ken Goldstein, economist at The
Conference Board, said: "The economy is rebounding from
widespread inclement weather and the strengthening in the labor
market is beginning to have a positive impact on growth. Overall,
this is an optimistic report, but the focus will continue to be
on whether improvements in the labor market can be sustained,
fueling stronger economic performance over the next few months".
Investors also remained focused on the upcoming earnings results.
This week, blue-chip companies such as Microsoft Corporation
), The Boeing Company (NYSE:
) and Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:
) as well as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:
) are expected to report their earnings results.
Eight out of 10 sectors of the S&P 500 ended in the green.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) led the advance as the
sector rose 1.2%. Top holdings from the sector such as Johnson
& Johnson (NYSE:
), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:
), Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:
), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:
) and Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:
) increased 1.1%, 2.0%, 1.4%, 2.3% and 1.4%, respectively.
The Energy sector followed the Health Care sector. The Energy
Select Sector SPDR (XLE) rose 0.7%. Key stocks from the sector
such as Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:
), Chevron Corporation (NYSE:
), Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:
), Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:
) and EOG Resources, Inc. (NYSE:
) increased 0.5%, 0.5%, 1.9%, 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively.
APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
AMGEN INC (AMGN): Free Stock Analysis Report
BOEING CO (BA): Free Stock Analysis Report
CATERPILLAR INC (CAT): Free Stock Analysis
GILEAD SCIENCES (GILD): Free Stock Analysis
HALLIBURTON CO (HAL): Free Stock Analysis
HASBRO INC (HAS): Free Stock Analysis Report
JOHNSON & JOHNS (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis
KIMBERLY CLARK (KMB): Free Stock Analysis
MERCK & CO INC (MRK): Free Stock Analysis
MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis
NETFLIX INC (NFLX): Free Stock Analysis
PFIZER INC (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report
SUNTRUST BKS (STI): Free Stock Analysis
EXXON MOBIL CRP (XOM): Free Stock Analysis
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