CLOSING BELL: July 19: DJIA: 12,943.36 | UP 34.66 | +0.27%
OIL: $92.66, UP 2.79, +3.10%
GOLD: $1,580.40, UP 9.60, +0.61%
GASOLINE (US Avg): $3.437, UP .001
Stocks ‘Stuck in Limbo’
Ben Rooney, CNN Money – U.S. stocks held modest gains Thursday as investors weighed the latest corporate results against signs of economic weakness.
The advance came despite a rash of disappointing economic reports. Investors were encouraged by some better-than-expected corporate results, though the outlook for profits in the second half of the year is murky.
Analysts say the market’s resiliency suggests investors are in a holding pattern, with a bias toward buying selective stocks, as they struggle with a lack of direction.
“The market is stuck in limbo until we get much better fundamental news or a more significant sell-off,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank. “It’s like being poised on a ledge, halfway down the mountain, not sure if you’re going up or down.”
The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) gained 34 points, or 0.2%, to end the day at 12,943. The S&P 500 (SPX) edged up 4 points, or 0.3%, to 1,376. The Nasdaq (COMP) advanced 23 points, or 0.8%, to 2,966.
IBM (IBM, Fortune 500) led gainers on the Dow. Big Blue reportedquarterly earnings late Wednesday that beat analyst expectations and issued upbeat guidance. Shares were up nearly 4%.
Financial shares weighed on the index. Shares of American Express (AXP, Fortune 500) fell 3.5% after the company said Wednesday that earnings rose in the second quarter, although customer spending was weak.
After the market closed, Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) reported stronger-than-expected quarterly profits, although sales growth was below forecast. Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) reported a quarterly loss, reflecting a $6.2 billion charge related to its online services department.
Investors had been bracing for a lackluster quarter, but the bulk of corporate results have come in above expectations.
Read the rest of the story at CNN Money here.
The Common Good publishes a financial market wrap-up every weekday after markets close.