Updated from 4:10 p.m. ESTStocks in the U.S. powered higher Monday as traders shook off worries about a worldwide economic slowdown, mixed earnings news and dour housing data. After falling as many as 92 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reversed ground and closed ahead by 176.72 points, or 1.45%, to 12,383.89. The S&P 500 added 23.36 points, or 1.76%, to 1353.97, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 23.71 points, or 1.02%, at 2349.91. Volume and breadth were strong to start the week. About 3.55 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, with advancers topping decliners by a 3-to-1 margin. Volume on the Nasdaq reached 1.94 billion shares as winners outpaced losers 5 to 3.
The Real Story Wrap, January 28
Corporate earnings from several Dow components and big tech names started off a busy week for quarterly results. McDonald's ( MCD) exceeded analysts' earnings targets by 2 cents, but a slowdown in December same-store sales pressured shares. McDonald's ended down $3.03, or 5.6%, to $51.07. Fellow Dow member Verizon ( VZ) posted quarterly profits that were in line with estimates, and Corning ( GLW) edged past expectations for the fourth quarter and lifted its forecast. Verizon gained 0.9% to $38.11, and Corning rose 3.3% at $23.10. Halliburton ( HAL) said fourth-quarter profits rose nearly 5% from a year ago to beat the Thomson First Call average estimate, while revenue also topped the consensus. Halliburton advanced 1.4% to $33.55. After the closing bell, earnings reports from chipmaker SanDisk ( SNDK), Dow component American Express ( AXP) and homebuilder Meritage Homes ( MTH) were expected. U.S. Treasury prices were slipping. The 10-year note was down 11/32 in price, pushing the yield up to 3.60%. The 30-year bond was lower by 15/32 in price, yielding 4.29%. Commodity prices were higher. Crude oil gained 28 cents to $90.99 a barrel, and gold futures jumped $16.40 to $927.10 an ounce. Among analyst upgrades, Bear Stearns lifted its rating for Dow member Caterpillar ( CAT) to outperform from peer perform, and UBS raised Merck ( MRK) to buy from neutral. Caterpillar gained 3.5% to close at $68.21, and Merck finished up 3.1% to $49.25. Meanwhile, Citigroup upgraded cereal makers General Mills ( GIS) and Kellogg ( K) to buy from hold. General Mills was higher by 2.4% at $54.19, and Kellogg rose 4.1% to $49.54.