Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose after solid earnings from several bellwethers helped to allay growth worries.
  • International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) jumped 8.46% after the technology giant posted adjusted fourth-quarter earnings that beat estimates and issued an outlook for the year that was higher than forecasts.
  • Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) posted modestly stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings and raised its full-year sales guidance. The stock soared 4.9%.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks ended higher on Wednesday, Jan. 23 in a see saw session that saw markets give up early gains fueled by strong earnings reports only to rebound at the close.

The Nasdaq, which spent most of the day in the red, held a late rally to close Wednesday's session in the green while the Dow gained triple digits.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 171 points, or 0.7%, to end at 24,576. At its high for the session the blue-chip index gained 296 points. The S&P 500 was up 0.22%, and the Nasdaq was closed up 0.08%. The Dow sank 1.2% on Tuesday, the S&P 500 fell 1.42% and the Nasdaq slumped 1.91%.

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) jumped 8.46% Wednesday after the giant technology company posted adjusted fourth-quarter earnings that beat estimates and its outlook for the year also came in higher than forecasts.

IBM said adjusted profit for the fourth quarter was $4.87 a share, beating Wall Street forecasts of $4.82. Revenue fell to $21.76 billion in the quarter from $22.54 billion a year earlier but still managed to top forecasts of $21.73 billion.

The company said Tuesday it expects adjusted earnings of "at least $13.90" a share, above forecasts of $13.80, but said that figure won't include the impact of its $34 billion takeover of software company Red Hat Inc. (RHT) last October, a deal that is expected to close in the second half of 2019. IBM also guided for free cash flow in 2019 of roughly $12 billion, which is below consensus of $13 billion.

Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) posted modestly stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings and raised its full-year sales guidance thanks to solid sales for its skincare products. The stock was up 4.9%.

United Technologies Corp. (UTX) rose 5.4% after the industrial company posted fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.95 a share, smashing estimates of $1.55, as sales in the period jumped 15%. The company also issued a strong forecast for 2019.

Sales in the quarter were $18 billion, ahead of analysts' forecasts of $16.8 billion. Organic growth in the quarter was 11%.

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)  was up 5.5% after it posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and boosted its dividend by around 10% thanks to slowing customer departures from its video business amid increasing competition from the likes of Netflix Inc.  (NFLX) .

Abbott Laboratories (ABT)  fell 2.2% despite posting positive earnings and raising its quarterly dividend.

Kimberly-Clark Corp. (KMB)  reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings  as profit margins declined in a "challenging" environment of higher input prices and increased currency market volatility. The stock fell 2.7%.

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Walmart Inc. (WMT)  rose 1.26% to $98.72 Wednesday after the world's biggest retailer was upgraded to overweight from neutral by investment bank Morgan Stanley with a price target of $110 a share.