S&P 500 posts longest winning streak since 2004 on earnings

Bloomberg NewsJanuary 26, 2013 

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks rose, giving the Standard & Poor's 500 index its longest winning streak since 2004, as Starbucks and Procter & Gamble reported increased profit and German business confidence beat forecasts.

Starbucks, the world's largest coffee-shop operator, advanced 4.1 percent. Procter & Gamble, the biggest consumer- products maker, climbed 4 percent as it also raised its 2013 earnings forecast. Halliburton jumped 5.1 percent as profit exceeded estimates. Apple surrendered the title of the world's most-valuable company to Exxon Mobil (see related story above).

The S&P 500 added 0.5 percent to 1,502.96. The benchmark gauge closed above 1,500 for the first time since December 2007 and gained for eight straight days, the longest string of advances since November 2004. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 70.65 points, or 0.5 percent, to 13,895.98 Friday. About 6.3 billion shares traded hands on U.S. exchanges Friday, in line with the three-month average.

Stocks rose Friday as German business confidence increased more than forecast in January, adding to signs that Europe's largest economy is recovering. The European Central Bank said banks will next week repay more of its emergency three-year loans than economists forecast, in another sign the euro region's debt crisis is abating. Equities briefly pared gains as data showed purchases of new U.S. homes unexpectedly dropped in

December.

Earnings exceeded projections at about 76 percent of the 147 companies in the S&P 500 that have released results so far in this reporting season, while 67 percent topped sales estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Analysts are turning more optimistic, boosting their projections for fourth- quarter profit growth to 4 percent from 2.9 percent at the beginning of the month, the data show.

All 10 groups in the S&P 500 advanced. Consumer discretionary and energy companies rose the most, climbing at least 0.9 percent.

Starbucks added 4.1 percent to $56.81. Net income increased to $432.2 million in the fiscal first quarter from $382.1 million a year earlier, the Seattle-based company said late yesterday. Comparable sales in the Americas rose 7 percent in the period, beating estimates for a 5.9 percent gain.

P&G advanced 4 percent to $73.25 after reporting second- quarter profit that topped analysts' estimates and raising its annual earnings forecast. Net income more than doubled to $4.06 billion in the period ended Dec. 31, the Cincinnati-based company said.

Halliburton jumped 5.1 percent to $39.72.

The world's largest provider of hydraulic-fracturing services reported fourth-quarter profit and sales that exceeded analysts' estimates amid stronger growth in international regions such as the Middle East, Asia and Latin America that offset lower activity in North America.

Microsoft climbed 0.9 percent to $27.88. The world's largest software maker reported lower profit on higher revenue as the company spent more to market its Windows operating system and lure consumers flocking to tablets and smartphones. Microsoft earned 76 cents a share in the second quarter. Analysts had predicted profit of 74 cents.

Tempur-Pedic International rallied 6.4 percent to $40.79. The maker of mattresses reported fourth-quarter adjusted profit of 60 cents a share, exceeding the 55 cent average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

Netflix jumped 15 percent to $169.56, adding to Thursday's 42 percent surge.

The world's largest online-video service has advanced since posting an unexpected fourth-quarter profit and a larger-than-anticipated gain in customers. Billionaire Carl Icahn, with a 10 percent stake, said Thursday he sees further gains for the shares.

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