Better-than-expected quarterly results once again guided the
S&P 500 and the Dow Jones into the green on Tuesday. Strong
earnings created a positive sentiment, lifting the blue-chip
index to its highest level in more than five years. The consumer
confidence index for January declined to a new low in the past
one year. The consumer discretionary sector was the only loser
among the S&P industry groups, while the energy sector was
the biggest gainer.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.5% to close
the day at 13,954.42. The S&P 500 increased 0.5% to finish
yesterday's trading session at 1,507.84. The tech-laden Nasdaq
Composite Index slipped 0.02% to end at 3,153.66. The fear-gauge
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 1.9% to settle at 13.31.
Consolidated volumes on the New York Stock Exchange, American
Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were roughly 6.4 billion shares,
marginally lower than the daily average of 6.45 billion shares in
2012. Advancing stocks outnumbered decliners on the NYSE; as for
59% stocks that rose, 38% moved down.
Shares of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:
) surged 3.2% following its robust quarterly results. Earnings of
the company increased four times from the year-ago period. The
fourth quarter earnings jumped due to strong sales of its
nutrition business along with cost cutting within the company.
For fiscal 2013, the company has projected profit of $2.30 per
share in anticipation of earning $1 billion a year from two of
its newly introduced products. This forecast is higher than the
Street's estimates for fiscal 2013. Another drug making company,
Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:
) posted strong quarterly earnings following which the shares
rose 3.2%. The fourth quarter earnings surpassed the Street's
Health Care SPDR (XLV) rose 1.1% following strong quarterly
results from the health care sector. Stocks such as Abbott
), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:
), Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ:
), Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:
) and Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:
) gained 1.0%, 1.1%, 0.1%, 0.4% and 1.7%, respectively.
Refinery operator, Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:
) posted strong fourth quarter results following which the shares
jumped almost 12.8%. Valero registered profit of $1 billion, more
than 20 times the year-ago profit and ahead of the Streets
expectation. The company's profits came on the back of high
margins by exchanging foreign crude with low-priced domestic
The energy sector enjoyed a decent gain and emerged as the
biggest gainer among the S&P 500 industry groups. The Energy
Select Sector SPDR (XLE) gained 1.6%. Stocks such as Exxon Mobil
), Chevron Corporation (NYSE:
), Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:
) and Hess Corp. (NYSE:
) added 0.7%, 1.0%, 1.2% and 9.0%, respectively.
Separately, the S&P Dow Jones Indices released the
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, which noted that home
prices for the 10-City Composite and 20-City Composite slipped
0.2% and 0.1%, respectively in November. But for both 10-City
Composite and 20-City Composite home prices have increased 4.5%
and 5.5% annually. Home prices have increased annually in all 19
cities except New York from November 2011.
Meanwhile, the consumer confidence index declined in January
to its lowest level since November 2011 due to the imposition of
tax on American citizens and their skepticism in the US economy.
According to the report, the consumer confidence index fell
sharply to 58.6 in January from 66.7 in December. This was well
below the consensus estimate of 65.1. The expectation index
decreased to 59.5 from 68.1 while the present index declined to
57.3 in January from 64.6 in December.
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BRISTOL-MYERS (BMY): Free Stock Analysis
CHEVRON CORP (CVX): Free Stock Analysis
HESS CORP (HES): Free Stock Analysis Report
JOHNSON & JOHNS (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis
LILLY ELI & CO (LLY): Free Stock Analysis
MERCK & CO INC (MRK): Free Stock Analysis
MARATHON OIL CP (MRO): Free Stock Analysis
MYLAN INC (MYL): Free Stock Analysis Report
PFIZER INC (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report
VALERO ENERGY (VLO): Free Stock Analysis
EXXON MOBIL CRP (XOM): Free Stock Analysis
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