Stocks Rise After Strong Earnings, Economic Data
By Caitlin Ostroff
U.S. stocks climbed Thursday as blue-chip companies reported
strong earnings and fresh economic data showed a sharp improvement
in consumer spending and the labor market.
The S&P 500 gained 0.6%, and the Dow Jones Industrial
Average added 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.9%, indicating
tech shares might recover some ground after falling Wednesday.
Investors will be watching earnings to assess whether stocks can
grind higher. Citigroup rose 2.9% premarket after it reported
sharply higher first-quarter profit and said it was shutting down
most of its consumer-banking operations in Asia, Europe and the
Middle East. Bank of America shares added 1.3% premarket after the
bank reported that its profit doubled in the first three months of
BlackRock gained 1.4% after the asset manager reported that
quarterly profit rose nearly 50%. UnitedHealth Group shares climbed
1.8% after the healthcare services company posted a larger profit
and stronger revenue on the year in the first quarter.
U.S. retail sales -- a measure of purchases at stores, at
restaurants and online -- jumped by 9.8% last month. Household
incomes have benefited from recent fiscal stimulus measures that
saw $1,400 checks hit some Americans' bank accounts.
Fresh data also showed that 576,000 Americans applied for
first-time unemployment benefits in the week ended April 10, a
decrease from the 769,000 who applied in the week prior. The
Federal Reserve has said employment is one of the factors it is
watching to determine when to eventually lift interest rates.
An anticipated economic recovery has led some investors to buy
shares of companies sensitive to a rebound, such as energy, travel
and banks, which has helped send indexes to repeated record highs
"We want to see that the 2021 numbers -- even the 2022 numbers
-- are going to continue to look good," said Esty Dwek, head of
global market strategy at Natixis Investment Solutions. "We want to
see what guidance is going to be. For a lot of 2020, we had no
In premarket trading, newly listed cryptocurrency exchange
Coinbase rose 6.4%. Shares rose as high as $429.54 during the
stock's trading debut Wednesday and ended the session at
Overseas, the Stoxx Europe 600 gauge added 0.4%. Gains were led
by Bud beer maker Anheuser-Busch InBev, which gained 4.1% after
Barclays raised its price target on the stock. Shares in other
alcoholic beverage makers were also higher, including Heineken and
Johnnie Walker-maker Diageo.
The Russian ruble fell 1% against the dollar after The Wall
Street Journal reported that the Biden administration would
sanction Russia in response to its alleged election interference,
widespread hacking campaign and other malign activity.
Major Asian stock indexes closed after a mixed performance. The
Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.5%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng
Index edged 0.4% lower. South Korea's Kospi added 0.4%.
In bond markets, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note ticked
down to 1.612%, from 1.637% Wednesday.
Write to Caitlin Ostroff at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 15, 2021 09:47 ET (13:47 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.