- Dow Jones Industrial Index up 78.33 (+0.62%) to 12,805.54
- S&P 500 up 10.03 (+0.74%) to 1,363.67
- Nasdaq Composite Index up 13.10 (+0.45%) to 2,910.04
- FTSE 100 down 34.83 (-0.60%) to 5,627.60
- Nikkei 225 up 30.88 (+0.35%) to 8,755.00
- Hang Seng Index up 333.99 (+1.75%) to 19,455.33
- Shanghai China Composite Index up 13.23 (+0.62%) to 2,161.19
U.S. stocks ended higher after tacking on gains on the approach to the closing bell. Investors turned their focus away from mixed economic data and Fed Chairman Bernanke's latest speech, and instead focused on some solid earnings results.
After a somewhat disappointing start to the earnings season, heavyweights Goldman Sachs (GS) and Coca-Cola Company (KO) announced strong Q2 results. GS reported Q2 EPS of $1.78, blowing past estimates for $1.17. Revenue for the quarter came in at $6.63 billion, ahead of the $6.28 billion consensus estimate. KO reported Q2 EPS of $1.21, topping estimates for $1.19. Revenue for the quarter came in at $13.08 billion, ahead of the $12.98 billion consensus.
In the end, today's highly anticipated speech by Ben Bernanke was a non-event, and analysts voiced mixed opinions over his statements. Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, Bernanke reiterated that the central bank was prepared to make further moves to bolster the recovery, if necessary. No direct hints about a third round of quantitative easing were given.
In economic reports, U.S. store sales came in flat week over week, leaving year over year sales growth at just 2.6%, off their previous level of 3.0%. Redbook reported year over year sales growth at just 1.7% -- the lowest since recovery began and a sharp difference from 2.2% last period. Consumer prices were flat, but met consensus estimates, representing an improvement over the loss of 0.3% realized last period. Production came in above estimates at +0.4% -- against a consensus of 0.3%, and up from a loss of 0.1% the prior period. The housing market has put down some sounder foundations, moving up 5 points to 35, off a previous level of 29 and a consensus of 30.
In commodities, oil futures extended their winning streak to a fifth session, and crude for August delivery climbed 0.9% to settle at $89.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange -- its highest settlement since late May. Gold for August delivery fell 0.1% to settle at $1,589.50 an ounce on the Comex.
(+) WEST, Selected by Comtec Distributing as Exclusive Solar Power Systems Supplier
(+) PPHM, Reported Q4 Results
(+) CSRE, to Sell Mobile Technology Business to Samsung
(-) LIME, Internal Review Finds Some Portion of Company's Revenue Improperly Recorded
(-) DTSI, Expects Q2 Revenue Below Analyst Estimates
(-) VOG, Issued Q2 Operations Update