Dow closes up on mix of good and bad news
Stronger earnings from Boeing and Caterpillar sent the Dow Jones industrial average higher yesterday, but gains in the broader market were held back by a sharp drop in new home sales and a rare earnings miss from Apple.
At the close of trading on Wall Street, the Dow was up 58.7 points at 12,676.1. The Dow was coming off three triple-digit losses in a row.
The Standard & Poor's 500 was off 0.4 point at 1,338, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite was off 8.8 points to 2,854.2. The Nasdaq's biggest component, Apple, dropped $22.12 to $578.80, a loss of 4 percent.
Boeing rose after surprising investors with higher earnings. The aircraft maker also raised its profit forecast for all of 2012.
Caterpillar, which makes mining and construction equipment, also rose after blowing away analysts' estimates with a 67 percent surge in profits for the second quarter. Caterpillar credited strong sales of mining equipment overseas and a strengthening housing market.
The damper on investors was the government report that sales of new homes plunged 8 percent in June, the steepest drop since February last year. Sales in the Northeastern U.S. plummeted 60 percent.