The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

April 9, 2014

US stocks move higher as earnings get underway

NEW YORK — Stocks rose for a second day in a row Wednesday, helped by a positive earnings report from the giant aluminum company Alcoa.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose two points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,854 in the first 30 minutes of trading. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 32 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,287 and the Nasdaq composite rose 16 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,129.

A IS FOR: Alcoa, the former Dow member and aluminum mining company, said it earned 9 cents per share excluding one-time items. The results came in ahead of analysts’ expectations. Alcoa is typically the first large company to report its results each quarter, making it the unofficial start to corporate earnings season every three months. Alcoa rose 40 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $12.92, the second biggest gain in the S&P 500.

MATERIAL WORLD: Alcoa’s results helped push other mining and material stocks higher. U.S. Steel rose 2 percent, industrial parts company W.W. Grainger rose 1.5 percent and auto parts company Delphi increased 1.5 percent.

HOTEL VACANCY: La Quinta Holdings, the parent company of the hotel chain La Quinta Inns, fell 42 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $16.56 on its first day of trading. La Quinta was owned by the private equity firm Blackstone Group.

ECONOMY WATCH: The Federal Reserve will release minutes from its March policy meeting later Wednesday. Also, the government reported that U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles for an eighth consecutive month in February. Their sales rose at the fastest pace since November.

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 2.71 percent from 2.68 percent late Tuesday. The price of crude oil rose 18 cents to $102.74 a barrel. Gold fell $7 to $1,301.50 an ounce.

 

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