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U.S. stocks rise amid economic data and strong earnings

TradingPub Admin | January 24, 2013

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Equity gains stemming from improved sentiment were illustrated on January 24, and the benchmark peaked above 1,500 as markets responded well to falling jobless claims and corporate earnings that were above expectations. 

Rising Stocks  

After rising above the crucial 1,500 level, the blue-chip S&P 500 closed slightly lower at 1,494.83 at 4 p.m. in New York, after surging as much as 0.5 percent earlier in the day, Bloomberg reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also had a good day, rising 0.3 percent to 13,825.33. 

These gains built upon the appreciation equities joined on the day before, as markets were bolstered by news that House lawmakers approved a bill that will temporarily extend the federal debt limit, according to the news source. 

Shares of Apple Inc., the world's largest company, plunged 12 percent as investors reacted to revenue estimates that did not meet Wall Street estimates for the third consecutive quarter, Reuters reports. While the stock of the consumer technology giant fell, the rest of the market, and also the broader economy, seemed to be on the upswing. 

"You have Apple and technology on the one side and the rest of the market on the other side," Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer of Albany, New York-based Hugh Johnson Advisors LLC, told the news source. 

Michael Vogelzang, chief investment officer at Boston Advisors LLC, which has $2.4 billion under management, also weighed in, telling Bloomberg via telephone that "We've been talking for a while that the market was going to get to 1,500." 

The benchmark S&P has surged 4.8 percent this year, after surging more than 13 percent in 2012. The group of stocks is now around 4.4 percent below its record high level of 1,565.15. 

Vogelzang added that everyone is wondering what the stock market will do now. He said that the plunge in Apple shares is "a very interesting case in terms of understanding where the price should be and clearly the market doesn't quite know." 

Strong Earnings  

Companies are surpassing analyst predictions with their earnings, with Bloomberg data indicating that of the 134 S&P 500 companies that have reported these metrics, around 75 percent have exceeded projections. This data indicates that on average, these analysts have predicted earnings to rise 3.8 percent on average. 

In addition, jobless claims for the week ending on January 19 totaled 330,000, which was below predictions. 

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