Solid earnings from Netflix, UnitedHealth Group and other companies helped lift U.S. stocks in afternoon trading Tuesday. Health care, technology and utilities companies were among the big gainers. The small rally put the market on course to rebound from modest losses the day before.
ON WALL STREET: At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 75.5 points, about 0.4 percent, to nearly 18,162. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 13.1 points, about 0.6 percent, to 2,139.6. The Nasdaq composite index added 44 points, about 0.9 percent, to 5,243.8.
OIL PRICES: As markets closed U.S. benchmark crude oil was up 37 cents at $50.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude, the international standard, was up 29 cents at $51.81 a barrel.
ANALYST’S OPINION: “We’re about 10 percent of the way through earnings season, and it’s proven to be somewhat less bad,” said analyst Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank. “So far, we’re seeing a number of companies actually reporting better results, both above and at the bottom line.”
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.75 percent from 1.77 late Monday. In currency markets, the dollar strengthened to 103.86 yen from 103.85 on Monday, while the euro weakened to $1.0983 from $1.0997.
INFLATION WATCH: The Labor Department said that consumer prices edged up 0.3 percent last month, with much of the increase stemming from energy, housing and prescription drugs. Even so, overall inflation remained in check, as it has for the past several years. That’s one reason the Federal Reserve has held down short-term interest rates. The markets anticipate the central bank will increase rates again at its upcoming meeting in December.