US stocks surge on earnings, dovish ECB

GMT 05:36 2015 Friday ,23 October

Arab Today, arab today US stocks surge on earnings, dovish ECB

Wall Street
New York - AFP

US stocks powered higher Thursday, lifted by dovish signals from the European Central Bank and strong earnings from McDonald's, Texas Instruments and others.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 320.55 points (1.87 percent) to 17,489.16.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 33.57 (1.66 percent) to 2,052.51, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 79.93 (1.65 percent) at 4,920.05.

The US rally followed big jumps in equity markets in Paris and Frankfurt after ECB chief Mario Draghi hinted at possible additional monetary stimulus in the coming months.

Dow member McDonald's leaped 8.1 percent after reporting better-than-expected third-quarter earnings following its first gain in US comparable sales in two years.

Other stocks to rally on earnings included eBay (+13.9 percent) and Texas Instruments (+11.9 percent).

Analysts pointed to evidence of a rotation away from health care stocks and toward technology.

Technology companies with large gains included Apple (+1.5 percent), Facebook (+2.6 percent), Intel (+3.1 percent) and Microsoft (+1.8 percent).

Health stocks that moved lower included insurers UnitedHealth Group (-3.6 percent) and Aetna (4.6 percent), and hospital company HCA Holdings (-7.2 percent).

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International slumped 7.4 percent as it scheduled a conference call for Monday to refute claims by Citron Research suggesting Valeant is the "pharmaceutical Enron" with fraudulent finances.

Another pharma company, AbbVie, dived 10.3 percent following a warning from the US Food and Drug Administration of serious liver injury risk from its Viekira Pak drug to treat hepatitis C. Gilead Sciences, which offers a competing drug, surged 5.8 percent.

Dow Chemical jumped 5.1 percent as it boosted its dividend by 10 percent and announced a number of reorganization moves, including the restructuring of Kuwait joint ventures that will result in a gain of $1.5 billion.

Petroleum pipeline company Kinder Morgan fell 5.3 percent after the company signaled it may not boost its dividend significantly in 2016 due to the downturn in commodity prices.

Other companies to report earnings included: Caterpillar (+2.9 percent), Citrix Systems (+12.0 percent), Dunkin' Brands (-3.6 percent), 3M (+4.1 percent), Under Armour (-5.4 percent), United Continental (+2.8 percent) and Southwest Airlines (+7.4 percent).

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dipped to 2.02 percent from 2.03 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year fell to 2.86 percent from 2.87 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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