Stocks close higher as Nasdaq reclaims the 8,000-mark after 6 months

U.S. stocks closed higher Tuesday, with the Nasdaq finishing above 8,000 for the first time in six months, as investors parsed a fresh batch of corporate earnings for clues on the broader economy.

What did major indexes do?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.26%  rose 67.89 points, or 0.3%, to 26,452.66, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.05%  gained 1.48 points to 2,907.06.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.30% climbed 24.21 points, or 0.3%, to 8,000.23, closing above the psychologically important 8,000-mark for the first time since Oct. 3.

Read: Stock market at ‘risk of a melt-up, not a meltdown,’ warns BlackRock’s Larry Fink

What drove the market?

Investors pored over earnings reports released early Tuesday, with Bank of America Corp. BAC, +0.13%  following on the lead of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS, +0.97% and Citigroup Inc. C, +2.86% , issuing earnings that failed to surpass analysts’ low expectations in the first quarter.

Dow component UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH, -4.01%  initially rose after it beat revenue and profit expectations for the first quarter while boosting its full-year outlook. But the stock quickly surrendered those gains on concerns over threats that new health-care reform measures, like “Medicare for All,” could significantly hurt health-insurance industry profits. The stock fell 4%.

Read: Bernie Sanders’s ‘Medicare for All’ gets cheers at Fox News town hall

Last Friday, presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont called out UnitedHealthcare, a $180 billion division of UnitedHealth, CEO Steve Nelson by name in a tweet that linked to a Washington Post story on insurers working to pull Democrats away from Medicare for All.

Our message to Steve Nelson and UnitedHealthcare is simple: When we are in the White House your greed is going to end. We will end the disgrace of millions of people being

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