S&P 500, Nasdaq hit record closing highs on upbeat earnings

The S&P index is up 17% so far this year with help from a dovish Federal Reserve

The S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq registered record closing highs after a broadbased rally yesterday, as a clutch of better-than-expected earnings reports eased concerns about a slowdown.

In Tuesday’s trading the benchmark index finally erased all the steep losses it saw in late 2018 by ending the day above the previous record reached on September 20th. It closed just 0.3 per cent below its intra-day record of 2,940.91 hit on September 21st.

The S&P has risen 17 per cent so far this year, with help from a dovish Federal Reserve and hopes of a US-China trade resolution as well as the upbeat start to the first-quarter earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 145.34 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 26,656.39, the S&P 500 gained 25.71 points, or 0.88per cent, to 2,933.68 and the Nasdaq Composite added 105.56 points, or 1.32 per cent, to 8,120.82.


Profits of S&P 500 companies are still expected to decline 1.3 per cent in the first quarter, in what analysts say could be the first earnings contraction since 2016. However, forecasts have largely improved since the start of April.

Amazon. com set to report results later this week, gained 2.2 per cent, providing the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with a rebound in healthcare, which gained 1.6 per cent, providing the biggest boost. The healthcare sector has been slammed with 6.7per cent drop in the last two weeks on US policy concerns.

The consumer staples sector was the only S&P sector that ended the day lower as investors favoured riskier bets. The energy and utilities sectors were the next weakest performers on the day.

Twitter shares soared 15.6 per cent after the social media company posted better-than-expected quarterly revenue and a surprise increase in monthly active users.

Hasbro rose 14.2 per cent after the toymaker reported a surprise quarterly profit.

Coca-Cola rose 1.7 per cent after its quarterly sales beat estimates, helped in part by strong demand for Coke Zero.

Lockheed Martin jumped 5.7 per cent after it reported upbeat quarterly results and lifted its full-year profit forecast on strong demand for its missiles and fighter jets.

United Technologies rose 2.3 per cent after it raised its full-year profit forecast.

Procter & Gamble fell 2.6 per cent and was the biggest drag on the market after reporting a decline in its third-quarter operating margin.

- Reuters