| Business

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Stocks advance, pushing Dow toward 14,000

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 4:54 p.m.

NEW YORK — Pfizer helped keep the stock market rally alive on Tuesday. The drugmaker's stock gained after posting strong earnings, pushing the Dow closer to 14,000.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 73 points to close at 13,954.42 points, ending higher for the seventh day in eight. The Standard and Poor's 500 also rose, adding eight points to 1,507.84 points. The Nasdaq composite dropped less than a point to 3,153.66.

The Dow is 6.5 percent higher this month, and the S&P 500 is up 5.7 percent. Both indexes are at their highest levels in more than five years.

Pfizer was the biggest gainer in the Dow, advancing 86 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $27.70 after the company said its fourth-quarter profit more than quadrupled because of a $4.8 billion gain from selling its nutrition business and despite competition from generic drugs hurting sales. Homebuilder D.R. Horton gained $2.51, or 11.8 percent, to $23.82 after it said that net income more than doubled. Improving home prices and better sales bolstered profits.

“The earnings season is not stellar, it's not gangbusters, but it's better than last quarter,” said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist at Prudential.

Analysts expect fourth-quarter earnings for 2012 to increase by an average of 4.7 percent for S&P 500 companies, according to the latest data from S&P Capital IQ. That's an improvement on the previous quarter when profit grew by 2.4 percent.

Valero Energy, a refinery operator, was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500. The company's stock climbed 13 percent after the company said that fourth-quarter profit soared on higher refining margins.

Investor optimism was checked by a report that showed U.S. consumer confidence sank in January to the lowest level in more than a year. The Conference Board said that its consumer confidence index dropped to 58.6 in January, down from a reading of 66.7 in December.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Development Dimensions International leadership grooming business uses own practices
  2. FirstEnergy turns to dewatering to help solve waste issues at power plant
  3. Further evidence of China weakness ends stock market’s win streak
  4. Twitter to lay off 336 workers
  5. As deadline looms, Mylan pushes Perrigo shareholders to OK buyout offer
  6. Pa., W.Va., Ohio to coordinate efforts to attract shale-related business
  7. CMU showcases its lengthy list of fledgling companies at venture event
  8. Education tech firm Acrobatiq does software to supplement college learning
  9. Safety of credit cards up to banks
  10. Volkswagen executive Horn sidesteps blame in emissions scandal
  11. Chesapeake Energy appoints Brad Martin chairman of the board