Stocks advance, pushing Dow toward 14,000
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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Shark Tank’ companies have change of heart
- Tech sector’s stocks strong
- Unruly photo collection? Get it under control with organizing program
- Protesters refuse to pay back education loans
- Women encouraged to become engineers
- Shift in what powers the grid raises concerns about fuel diversity
- Highmark lays off nearly 100 workers, mostly in IT, as membership declines
- Easier home loan rules worry some
- Top residential, commercial deals of the week — March 1
- Mylan closes $5.3B tax-lowering deal with Abbott Labs
- Dominion has strong 2015 legislative session in Virginia