The two were the latest to post earnings that topped expectations,
helping to lift the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to their fourth straight
daily advance. Tech bellwethers Google and IBM fell on disappointing
figures and limited the broader market's gain. IBM's slide pushed
the Dow into slightly negative territory at the close.
With less than one-fifth of S&P 500 companies having reported
results so far, about 63 percent have topped earnings expectations,
according to Thomson Reuters data, exceeding the 56 percent average
over the past four quarters. About 52 percent have beaten revenue
forecasts, about even with the 54 percent average over the past four
Morgan Stanley <MS.N> rose 2.9 percent to $30.76 after the financial
services company reported a rise in first-quarter earnings, while
Goldman Sachs <GS.N> edged up 0.1 percent to $157.44 after reporting
earnings that fell less than expected.
General Electric <GE.N> posted a 12 percent rise in overall
industrial profits and its stock gained 1.7 percent to $26.56.
"Today's earnings were mixed, with some beating and others missing
<expectations>, but the results we've seen this week have given the
season a positive tone," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at
Edward Jones in St. Louis, which has $787 billion in assets. "We had
expected a greater impact from weather, but industrials and banks
are all doing better, which relieves that area of concern."
Tech shares capped the S&P 500's gain, with Google Inc <GOOGL.O>
down 3.7 percent at $543.34 and IBM <IBM.N> off 3.3 percent at
$190.01 a day after both reported earnings that failed to impress
Wall Street. The results raised questions about those of other
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slipped 16.31 points, or
0.10 percent, to end at 16,408.54. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
<.SPX> rose 2.54 points, or 0.14 percent, to finish at 1,864.85. The
Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 9.29 points, or 0.23 percent,
to close at 4,095.52.
For the week, the Dow rose 2.4 percent, the S&P 500 added 2.7
percent and the Nasdaq advanced 2.4 percent. The Dow had its best
week since December while the S&P 500 closed out its best week since
Trading volume was light ahead of the Good Friday market holiday.
About 6.1 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms, according to
BATS exchange data, below the month-to-date average of 6.88 billion.
The CBOE Volatility index <.VIX>, a measure of investor anxiety,
fell 21.6 percent over the week, its biggest weekly drop since
After the closing bell, Advanced Micro Devices Inc <AMD.N> reported
first-quarter results that beat expectations, sending its shares up
2.9 percent to $3.86 in extended trading.
[to top of second column]
During the regular session, SanDisk Corp <SNDK.O> was the S&P 500's
biggest gainer and helped boost the Nasdaq 100 <.NDX>. SanDisk's
stock shot up 9.4 percent to close at $82.99 a day after the company
reported first-quarter revenue ahead of expectations.
Baker Hughes <BHI.N> shares hit their highest price since August
2011 after the world's third-largest oilfield services company
posted better-than-expected results as revenue in its core North
American business rose nearly 7 percent. The stock climbed 3 percent
to close at $68.33 after earlier rising as high as $69.78.
UnitedHealth Group <UNH.N> fell 3.1 percent to $75.78 after the
health insurer said it has spent more than $100 million to cover a
pricey new hepatitis C drug from Gilead Sciences <GILD.O>, a higher
cost than it expected by "multiples." Peer company WellPoint <WLP.N>
slid 3.8 percent to end at $92.
Questions from U.S. lawmakers on the cost of that drug prompted a
sharp selloff in Gilead in mid-March that lasted for nearly a month.
The stock rose 1 percent to $70 on Thursday.
The latest data showed the U.S. economy's health was improving. The
number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose
less than expected in the latest week and came near pre-recession
levels. Factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region expanded in
April at a faster clip than anticipated, according to a survey from
the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Shares of China's Weibo Corp <WB.O> opened slightly below the $17
pricing of its initial public offering, which was at the lower end
of expectations on concerns about the microblogging service's
slowing user growth. The stock, however, turned sharply higher in
afternoon trading and ended up 19.1 percent at $20.24.
Western Union <WU.N> fell 5 percent to $15.25 after Wal-Mart Stores
<WMT.N> said it was launching a domestic money transfer service in
partnership with Euronet Worldwide <EEFT.O> subsidiary Ria Money
Shares of MoneyGram International <MGI.O>, which currently provides
money transfer services for Wal-Mart, plunged 17.7 percent to
$14.81. Euronet rose 4 percent to $42.44. Wal-Mart gained 0.6
percent to $77.66.
About 56 percent of stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange
ended the day higher while 61 percent of Nasdaq-listed shares ended
in positive territory.
(Editing by Jan Paschal)
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