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Stocks open higher on upbeat earnings results PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 July 2008

AP, NEW YORK -- Wall Street extended its rally into a second session Thursday after stronger-than-expected quarterly reports from Coca-Cola Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and United Technologies Corp. gave investors some reassurance about the health of the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 100 points.

The gains come a day after falling oil prices and surprising bank results swept Wall Street to a huge rally. Oil is falling again, helping to boost investor sentiment.
 
A flurry of quarterly results are offering investors some welcome insights into the well-being of the economy. Three components of the Dow industrials -- Coca-Cola Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and United Technologies Corp. -- issued comments that generally indicated that their businesses are holding up despite sometimes difficult economic conditions.
 
Wall Street also appeared placated by economic figures. A Commerce Department report showed construction of homes and apartments rose in June by 9.1 percent. The gain owes in part to a change in New York laws that has given a boost to apartment building. Construction of single-family homes fell by 5.3 percent to the slowest pace in 17 years. Applications for building permits, one indicator of future activity, rose by 11.6 percent.
 
And while the Labor Department reported that the number of newly laid-off people seeking unemployment benefits rose by 18,000 last week to 366,000, the increase was below the number economists expected.
 
The reports arriving Thursday bolstered a notion that investors had perhaps been overly dour in their assessment of the economy. To be sure, many companies have yet to report quarterly results and there are still trouble spots in the economy, such as the banking sector.
 
But stocks advanced in the first hour of trading, the Dow rose 102.27, or 0.91 percent, to 11,341.55. The Dow on Wednesday surged 276 points, or 2.5 percent, logging its best daily gain in three months.
 
Broader stock indicators also rose. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 9.03, or 0.73 percent, to 1,254.39, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 20.93, or 0.92 percent, to 2,305.78.

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