Big-name earnings give stocks a big boost; Nasdaq closes above 6,000

|By:, SA News Editor

After yesterday's surge surrounding the first round the French presidential election, investors today turned their attention to U.S. earnings and mostly liked what they saw, sending the Dow 230 points higher, briefly breaking back above 21K, and the Nasdaq soaring above 6K for the first time ever.

"Earnings thus far have been good," says Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. "That's a good sign that Corporate America is on a renewed path toward growth."

Dow components Caterpillar, McDonald's and DuPont gave that index a clear advantage (+1.1%), with CAT spiking 7.9% in reaction to a stunning upside earnings surprise and upbeat guidance, while MCD and DD added a respective 5.6% and 3.6% after beating top and bottom line estimates.

However, Dow component 3M added only 0.5% despite beating top and bottom line estimates and issuing upbeat guidance, while Coca-Cola fell by 0.4% after a miss on earnings outweighed better than expected revenues.

DuPont influenced the materials sector (+1.6%) to the top of today's leaderboard, McDonald's positive performance helped the consumer discretionary sector (+0.8%) outperform, and WTI crude oil's first gain after six straight losing sessions - +0.7% to settle at $49.56/bbl - pushed energy (+0.8%) higher.

This week's risk-on sentiment was felt throughout the bond market, as U.S. Treasury fell across the board; the 10-year yield settled 6 bps higher at 2.33%, which is notable given the recent resistance the benchmark yield has encountered around 2.30%.