Stocks – Dow Ends Higher on Earnings Optimism

© Reuters. – The Dow closed higher Tuesday as mostly-above-forecast earnings and a rebound in financials boosted sentiment.

The rose 0.26%, the added 0.05%, while the gained 0.30%. The Nasdaq closed above 8,000 for the first time since Oct. 1.

A flurry of better-than-expected quarterly results eased investor concerns heading into the quarter that profits may have peaked.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:) rose 1% after raising full-year guidance and delivering first-quarter results that on both the top and bottom lines.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:) also posted above-consensus earnings, but ended down 4% after management warned that Medicare for All, proposed by some Democratic lawmakers, would destabilize the health care system. UnitedHealth’s decline subtracted nearly 63 points from the Dow.

The comments sparked a sharp selloff in health care stocks, pressuring the wider sector to end the day 1% lower.

The broader market was supported somewhat by financials, as banking stocks pared some of their losses from a day earlier following quarterly results from Bank of America and BlackRock.

BlackRock (NYSE:) rose 3.3% after from and saw its assets under management top $6 billion after slipping below that yardstick in the previous quarter.

Bank of America (NYSE:) ended the day roughly flat as its above-consensus earnings was offset somewhat by dour guidance on interest income. Chief Financial Officer Paul Donofrio told analysts on a conference call that the bank anticipates its net interest income growth will be 3% in 2019, well below the 6% last year.

Beyond earnings, energy also helped Wall Street as U.S. oil prices settled 1% higher, with the conflict in Libya and falling Iranian and Venezuelan exports fueling expectations for tightening global supply.

In tech, Apple (NASDAQ:) ended flat and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:) surged 23% after the companies reached a truce on their years-long legal dispute

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