U.S. Stocks Open Higher as Earnings Season Kicks Off

Date : 10/15/2019 @ 2:28PM
Source : Dow Jones News

U.S. Stocks Open Higher as Earnings Season Kicks Off

By Anna Isaac 

U.S. stocks climbed Tuesday as investors seeking fresh insights into the health of the economy began reviewing third-quarter earnings reports from big companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 144 points, or 0.5%, and the S&P 500 rose 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.6%.

The early reports from big banks brought mixed news. Shares in JPMorgan Chase, the nation's largest bank by assets, rose 1.6% after the banking giant beat profit expectations. But Goldman Sachs Group shares dropped 3.3% after the bank reported a drop in profit.

Shares of UnitedHealth Group, meanwhile, rose 5.6% after the company boosted its profit guidance for the year.

As investors continue to look for fresh signs about the future course of interest rates, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said Tuesday in London that the U.S. Federal Reserve could cut its key interest rate again to cushion the economy against threats to growth. The U.S. economy is slowing and faces a number of "downside risks" that could require a further "insurance" move from policy makers, Mr. Bullard said.

The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury fell to 1.715%, from 1.748% Friday. The bond market was closed Monday for Columbus Day.

Meanwhile, equities across Europe posted tepid gains as investors continued to try to assess the probability of the U.S. and China ending the trade war after both sides said last week that they'd made progress toward a partial deal. The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 gauge rose 0.5%.

"Markets are fairly muted because this should actually be viewed as a cease-fire rather than a deal," said Edward Park, deputy chief investment officer at Brooks Macdonald Asset Management. The only major progress was that the U.S. shelved additional tariffs that had been scheduled to go into place this week, he said.

In Asia, Chinese stocks fell as fresh economic data added to concerns about weaker growth prospects and the government's ability to strike a trade agreement with the U.S.

The Shanghai Composite gauge dropped 0.6% as official data showed inflation reached a near six-year high last month, driven by rising pork prices. This comes amid signs of slowing growth and trade tensions for the world's second-largest economy.

"China's not going to change its core economic policy to placate Washington, be it on intellectual property or similar," said Rory Green, an economist at investment research firm T.S. Lombard. "They are accepting slower growth, they are not going to do a big credit stimulus as we've seen in the past; markets are slowly realizing that."

In commodities, Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, dropped 0.6%.

Karen Langley contributed to this article.

Write to Anna Isaac at anna.isaac@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 15, 2019 10:13 ET (14:13 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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