U.S. Stocks Close Higher On Upbeat Earnings Updates

U.S. stocks closed on a firm note on Tuesday and the major averages posted their best intraday levels in a month, as investors reacted positively to some upbeat earnings news from top name companies.

Worries about slowing growth amid supply chain bottlenecks did weigh a bit and limit market’s gains.

The major averages all ended with solid gains. The Dow ended higher by 198.70 points or 0.56 percent at 35,457.31. The S&P 500 surged up 33.17 points or 0.74 percent to settle at 4,519.63, while the tech-laden Nasdaq advanced 107.28 points or 0.71 percent to 15,129.09.

Upbeat earnings news from insurance giant Travelers Companies Inc. (TRV), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Netflix (NFLX) lifted sentiment.

Energy stocks had a fairly good outing as falling temperatures in China pushed oil prices higher. Technology stocks moved higher, extending recent gains. Pharmaceuticals and utilities stocks advanced as well.

On the economic front, a report released by the Commerce Department showed an unexpected decrease in new U.S. residential construction in the month of September.

The report said housing starts fell by 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.555 million in September from a revised rate of 1.580 million in August. Economists had expected housing starts to inch up to a rate of 1.620 million from the 1.615 million originally reported for the previous month.

The report also showed building permits plunged by 7.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.589 million from a revised rate of 1.721 million in August. Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, were expected to drop to a rate of 1.680 million from the 1.728 million originally reported for the previous month.

Johnson & Johnson shares climbed nearly 2.5 percent and Travelers Companies shares gained 1.6 percent.

Netflix edged up marginally. However, Procter & Gamble drifted lower, with concerns about rising costs overshadowing the company’s strong quarterly results.

Pharmaceuticals shares Merck & Co., Boston Scientific, Edwards Lifesciences and Intuitive Surgical gained in strength.

In the technology space, Apple Inc shares surged higher thanks to positive comments on the company’s new Macbook Pro line. Intel, Verizon and Cisco Systems also moved higher.

Walmart, Chevron, Caterpillar, JP Morgan Chase and Visa posted solid gains.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index and China’s Shanghai Composite Index both climbed by 0.7 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged up by 1.5 percent.

Most of the markets across Europe closed higher on earnings optimism. Among the major European markets, the U.K. and Germany closed higher, while France ended weak. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 ended 0.19 percent up and Germany’s DAX advanced 0.27 percent, while France’s CAC 40 edged down 0.05 percent.

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