U.S. Stocks Rise for a 5th Day On Solid Earnings Reports


Solid earnings reports Thursday drove the stock market to another record high.

Stocks rose from the start of trading after JPMorgan Chase released results that were better than analysts expected. Companies are expected to report earnings dropped again in the April-June period, but a few big ones that have released numbers so far have beaten low expectations, encouraging investors.

The gains were broad, with nine of the 10 industry sectors of the Standard and Poor’s 500 index showing gains. Banks rose the most, 0.9 percent.

Investors pulled money out of conservative assets like gold and Treasury bonds, sending yields on the bonds sharply higher. They also sold stocks of utility companies, considered a haven because of their safe and steady dividends.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 134.29 points, or 0.7 percent, to 18,506.41. The S&P 500 gained 11.32 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,163.75. The Nasdaq composite increased 28.33 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,034.06.

The Dow and S&P 500 remain at record highs, but the Nasdaq is barely positive for the year.

The U.S. gains followed rallies in Germany, France and Japan, with stock indexes in each of those countries rising more than 1 percent.

British stocks initially rose, then gave up the gains after the Bank of England surprised investors by holding off on cutting interest rates despite the hit to the British economy from last month’s vote to leave the European Union. The British pound soared on the news.

U.S. stocks have been on a rocky ride year. They fell in January and February on fears a slowdown in Chinese economic growth would drag the rest of the world into recession, then rose again, then fell after Britain’s vote.

But a strong U.S. jobs report last Friday and signs of political stability in Britain have lifted investor spirits.

Corporate earnings are the biggest driver of stock prices, and they’re looking weak overall, notwithstanding Thursday’s batch of solid reports. Per share earnings in the S&P 500 are expected to fall 5.5 percent from the year earlier period, the fourth quarter in a row of drops, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX was up 1.4 percent and the CAC-40 in France rose 1.2 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent.

In Japan, the Nikkei closed nearly 1 percent higher as the yen weakened against the dollar. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.1 percent.

Prices of U.S. government fell, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to 1.53 percent from 1.48 percent.

The British pound rose to $1.3330 from $1.3160 a day earlier. The euro rose to $1.1123 from $1.1114 and the dollar rose to 105.43 yen from 104.33 yen.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 93 cents to close at $45.68 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a standard for international oil prices, rose $1.11 to close at $47.37 a barrel in London.

In other energy trading in New York, wholesale gasoline rose 4 cents to $1.41 a gallon, heating oil rose 3 cents to $1.41 a gallon and natural gas slipped a penny to $2.73 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Precious and industrial metals prices were mixed. Gold fell $11.40 to $1,332.20 an ounce, silver lost 9 cents to $20.32 an ounce and copper was flat at $2.24 a pound.