Stocks gain on earn­ings, oil prices

Los Angeles Times - - COMPANY TOWN - As­so­ci­ated press

Ris­ing cor­po­rate prof­its and a jump in oil prices helped push the stock mar­ket to a mod­est gain Wed­nes­day.

Delta and In­tel led the way up af­ter turn­ing in re­sults that beat Wall Street’s fore­casts. The price of oil soared to its high­est price this year, driv­ing up en­ergy stocks.

For in­vestors, any good news comes as a wel­come sur­prise this earn­ings sea­son, which is widely ex­pected to be the worst in years. An­a­lysts pre­dict that com­pa­nies in the Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex will re­port a 3% drop in prof­its. Most of the blame lies with the slump in oil prices over the last year, which has squeezed oil and gas com­pa­nies, and a strong dollar, which di­min­ishes the value of prof­its earned abroad when they’re brought home.

The S&P 500 rose 10.79 points, or 0.5%, to 2,106.63. Transocean, an op­er­a­tor of drilling rigs, soared 10%, the big­gest gain in the in­dex.

The Dow Jones industrial av­er­age added 75.91 points, or 0.4%, to 18,112.61, and the Nas­daq com­pos­ite gained 33.73 points, or 0.7%, to 5,011.02.

Delta Air Lines said its quar­terly profit more than tripled as pas­sen­gers f lew more and fuel prices plunged from a year ago. The re­sults sent Delta’s stock up $1.12, or 3%, to $44.20.

Af­ter the mar­ket closed Tues­day, In­tel, the world’s largest maker of com­puter chips, re­ported quar­terly prof­its that beat an­a­lysts’ tar­gets. In­tel’s stock surged $1.34, or 4%, to $32.83.

Crude oil jumped $3.10 to set­tle at $56.39, hit­ting its high­est price this year, af­ter the En­ergy Depart­ment said that stor­age of crude rose by the small­est amount in three months. Brent crude, a bench­mark for in­ter­na­tional oils used by many U.S. re­finer­ies, rose $1.89 to $60.32 in Lon­don.

Bank of Amer­ica turned in a quar­terly profit af­ter a big loss a year ago as it put some of its legal trou­bles be­hind it. But rev­enue re­mained flat for its main busi­nesses. The bank’s stock fell 18 cents, or 1%, to $15.64.

In the mar­ket for U.S. gov­ern­ment bonds, the yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note was un­changed at 1.90%.

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