S&P 500 and Nasdaq Post Record Closing Highs Pushed by Strong Earnings

Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • Stocks ended higher Tuesday , with positive earnings reports pushing the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record closing highs.
  • Coca-Cola  (KO - Get Report) posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings as organic sales growth and operating margins showed solid improvements from last year.
  • United Technologies (UTX - Get Report) climbed after posting first-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts' forecasts and lifting profit guidance for 2019.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks ended in positive territory Tuesday, with positive earnings reports pushing the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record closings.
 
The S&P 500 rose 0.88% to close at 2,933. The S&P 500 at midday moved past its record closing high at 2,930.75 set on Sept. 20, 2018. The Nasdaq advanced 1.32% to 8,120, beating its former all-time closing high of 8,109.69 set on Aug. 29, 2018.
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, bolstered by strong results from heavyweights Coca-Cola ( KO - Get Report) and United Technologies ( UTX - Get Report)  came close to setting a record itself before ending up 145 points, or 0.55% to 26,656.
  
"We're really only in the second or third innings of earnings, but there's been a lot to like," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*Trade. "The big question mark is if the good times will continue to roll on. Many companies that have reported out thus far have surpassed expectations. That said, past isn't always prologue."
 
Oil prices rose for a third straight day following the U.S. State Department's decision to remove waivers on the purchase of Iranian crude, issued last November to eight different countries -- including China, India and Japan -- that are set to expire on May 2. West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, was up 1.14% to $66.30 a barrel. Brent crude rose 0.59% to $74.48.
 
"If China cannot import oil from Iran, it will have to import from somewhere else, then suddenly you have supply shock in the oil market," said Zhiwei Ren, managing director and portfolio manager at Penn Mutual Asset Management. "Also in the U.S., the summer driving season is close, so these two together and you have a sudden increase in the oil price."

Ren said the impact of rising oil prices has been muted so far. He noted that the energy sector is a small part of the equity market now and is more important to the high yield market.

"Nobody expects that the oil price will stay at the current level for long," he said.

United Technologies climbed after posting first-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts' forecasts, and after the industrial giant lifted the low end of profit guidance for 2019. Shares rose 2.3% to $140.
 
Coca-Cola reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings as organic sales growth and operating margins showed solid improvements from last year. Shares rose 1.7% to $48.21. 
 
Shares of Verizon Communications ( VZ - Get Report)  declined despite better-than-expected first-quarter earnings from the telecommunications giant. Shares fell 2.1% to $57.15.
 
Lockheed Martin ( LMT - Get Report) climbed after the aerospace company beat Wall Street's first-quarter earnings expectations and raised its full-year outlook. Shares climbed 5.6% to $332.88.
 
Shares of Twitter  ( TWTR - Get Report)  soared 15.6% to $39.76 after the micro-blogging website posted better-than-expected first-quarter revenue. 
 
 
In economic news, the U.S. Commerce Department said new home sales increased 4.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000 units last month, the highest level since November 2017