Wall Street Logs Gains Monday On Strong Earnings

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Stocks were solidly higher Monday, and investors cheered a strong dose of positive earnings reports as well as economic data that showed the U.S. economy is growing.

The S&P 500 index was up 0.4% as of 12:17 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 287 points, or 0.9%, to 34,161 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3%. The S&P is adding to the 5.2% gains from April, its best month since November 2020, when President Joe Biden was elected. It logged a gain of about 28% between November and April.

Among the biggest gainers on the first trading day of the month were clothing retailer Gap Inc., which jumped 7.7%, and flooring manufacturer Mohawk Industries, which soared more than 7.3%.

A mix of healthcare companies, banks and industrial companies helped push the market higher, while technology stocks slipped.

More than half of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their results, which show earnings growth of 54% percent so far, according to FactSet.

It’s another busy week for earnings, which will results from drugmakers Eli Lilly, Merck, Pepsi, Colgate-Palmolive, the railroad CSX and drugstore giant CVS. Investors will also get April’s jobs report on Friday.

Shares of Verizon Communications were up 0.8% after the company announced it would sell off the remnants of Yahoo! and AOL into a new company backed by private equity firm Apollo Global Management. Verizon bought Yahoo and AOL’s media assets about six years ago in an effort to compete with Google and Facebook, but the effort never panned out and Verizon returned its focus to its traditional wireless cell operations.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway was up 1.9% after the billionaire investor named his successor after years of speculation. Greg Abel, who runs Berkshire Hathaway’s non-insurance business, will step into the CEO role when Buffett retires.

On the economic front, a report on U.S. manufacturing activity in April came in below economists’ expectations, but still was strong for the month. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index came in at 60.7 for April, compared with the 65.0 reading that was expected. However that figure is still well above the 50-point mark that indicates expanding manufacturing activity.

A report on U.S. construction spending showed similar results, making gains but still falling short of economists’ forecasts. Spending on construction projects rose just 0.2% in March, the Commerce Department said Monday, significantly less than the 1.7% jump economists had expected.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note slipped to 1.61% from %1.65% late Friday.

By DAMIAN J. TROISE - May 3. 2021 - 12:31 AM ET

AP

 

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