Stock market climbs on robust earnings

This is a blowout year for earnings: Brian Wesbury

First Trust Advisors Chief Economist Brian Wesbury on the outlook for stocks.

Stocks climbed higher Tuesday, notching a second consecutive session of gains as companies continued to report robust earnings.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 213.59 points, or 0.87%, to 24,786.63. The S&P 500 added 28.55 points, or 1.07%, to 2,706.39. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 124.81 points, or 1.74%, to 7,281.10.

With Tuesday’s rally, the Dow returned to positive territory for the year, joining the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. The Dow booked its highest close since March 16, with UnitedHealth (UNH), Boeing (BA) and IBM (IBM) accounting for more than half of the blue-chip index’s gains.

Before the opening bell, Goldman Sachs (GS) reported strong first-quarter results that blew past expectations. Other companies that reported before the market open included Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and UnitedHealth.

IBM reported earnings following the closing bell, posting per-share earnings that topped Wall Street’s estimates. Shares were down about 5% in after-hours trading on weaker profit margins.

Netflix (NFLX) shares hit an intraday all-time high, closing 9.2% higher after it revealed first-quarter subscriber growth that beat estimates.

TickerSecurityLastChange%Chg
NFLXNETFLIX INC.327.77-4.93-1.48%

“This bull market was built on Facebook, Apple, Google and Netflix and we needed Netflix to shine and they did,” said Jonas Ferris, co-founder MAXfunds.com.

“Facebook is in the doghouse, targeted advertising is a maturing business with growing privacy issues, Apple iPhone sales growth is peaked, so we needed this.”

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Shares of Southwest Airlines (LUV) fell 1.1% after a passenger jet’s engine blew up, killing one person and injuring seven others, on a flight that departed LaGuardia Airport in New York. The plane, which was scheduled to land in Dallas, made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

Economic data released Tuesday morning included housing starts, which rebounded in March.

In global economic news, China's economy grew at a 6.8% pace in the first quarter of 2018, slightly higher than expected.

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