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US stocks push higher despite big Amazon drop

25 october 2014, 15:40
0
©AFP
©AFP

 US stocks Friday capped a strong week on a high note as good earnings from Microsoft and others overshadowed a poor report from Amazon, AFP reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 127.51 points (0.76 percent) to 16,805.41.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 13.76 (0.71 percent) to 1,964.58, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 30.92 (0.69 percent) to 4,483.72.

Microsoft jumped 2.5 percent as earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 bested analyst expectations on a boost from its Xbox consoles and Internet cloud services for enterprises.

But investors pummelled Amazon, sending shares 8.3 percent lower, as its third-quarter loss rose tenfold to $437 million due to the costs of product launches including new phones, tablets and television programs.

"In general, earnings have been good and the market has been rewarding companies," said Brent Schutte, market strategist at BMO Global Asset Management.

Dow member Procter & Gamble gained 2.3 percent as it announced plans to exit its Duracell battery business, which has $2 billion in annual sales. The company's quarterly earnings for the period ending September 30 translated into $1.07 per share, in line with analyst estimates.

Pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb rose 2.2 percent after reporting third-quarter earnings of 45 cents per share, three cents above analyst estimates.

Ford Motor dropped 4.3 percent as third-quarter profits sank 34.3 percent to $835 million and analysts expressed anxiety over high costs of the upcoming F-150 pickup upgrade, which is expected to be launched later this year.

In non-earnings news, Chiquita Brands International jumped 2.9 percent after the company's shareholders rejected a merger with European rival Fyffes.

Chiquita said it would begin discussions with Brazilian juice exporter Cutrale Group and investment bank Safra Group, which on Thursday raised their unsolicited bid for Chiquita to $14.50 a share.

Dow member Pfizer gained 1.8 percent following an announcement that its board authorized a new $11 billion share buyback program.

Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dipped to 2.27 percent from 2.28 percent Thursday, while the 30-year held steady at 3.05 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.


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