Stocks Gain on Earnings; Cummins, Ameriprise Rise

NEW YORK (AP) -

Solid earnings from a broad swath of U.S. companies pushed the stock market higher on Tuesday.

Ameriprise Financial, a wealth management company, surged after posting earnings that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. The company also said it would buy back an additional $2.5 billion of its own stock and raise its dividend. Cummins, a maker of large diesel engines, jumped after the company said a surge in North American sales sent its earnings higher.

Just over half the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index have now released their earnings for the first quarter and, with the occasional exception, the reports have contained enough good news to drive stock prices higher. The S&P 500 has gained 2.1 percent since April 14, and the index is approaching its all-time high following a pullback at the start of the month prompted by a sell-off in formerly high-flying internet and biotechnology stocks.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 8.90 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,878.33. The index is 12 points below its record high of 1,890.89 set April 2.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 86.63 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,535.37. The Nasdaq composite gained 29.14 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,103.54.

Ameriprise rose $6.04, or 5.8 percent, to $109.55. Financial stocks rose almost 1 percent, the biggest gain of the 10 industry groups that make up the S&P 500.

Cummins rose $5.61, or 3.9 percent, to $150.81 after the company posted its results and raised its sales outlook due to improving demand in North America.

Coach, a maker of handbags and other luxury goods, was among the day’s losers. The company’s stock fell $4.71, or 9.3 percent, to $45.71 after Coach said its earnings declined in the first three months of the year.

Investors get more information on the U.S. economy and the Federal Reserve’s thinking on Wednesday.

The Commerce Department will issue the first of three estimates of how fast the U.S. economy grew in the January-March quarter. Economists say a slowdown last quarte is likely giving way to stronger growth that should endure for the year.

The Fed will release a statement after the conclusion of their its two-day meeting. Most economists expect that the Fed will reduce its monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion.

The Fed’s stimulus has helped underpin a five-year rally in stocks.

The yield on the 10-year T note was unchanged from Monday at 2.70 percent. The price of oil rose 0.4 percent to $101.28 a barrel.

Among other stocks making big moves:

• MGM Resorts International rose $1.96, or 8.5 percent, to $24.98 after the company said its first-quarter earnings soared.

• Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, gained 84 cents, or 11.3 percent, to $8.27 after the company posted a loss that was smaller than analysts’ expected.

• Consol Energy rose $1.98, or 4.7 percent, to $43.93 after it announced earnings of $116 million in the first quarter.