Stocks End Higher as Alcoa Earnings Lift Sentiment
Stocks edged higher in trading today after aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) kicked off the latest earnings season on a strong note.
All three major indexes finished higher following two straight days of losses. The Dow Jones ended the day 0.46% higher at 13,390.51, the S&P 500 ended the day 0.27% higher at 1,461.02, and the Nasdaq ended the day 0.45% higher at 3,105.81.
All sectors in the S&P 500 ended the day in green. The gains were led by Consumer Cyclical sector, which ended the day 1.75% higher. Industrials also rallied in trading today, ending the day 0.97% higher. Financials ended the day 0.37% higher. Energy sector ended the day 0.04% higher after trading in red for most of the day. Basic Materials sector rose 0.52%.
Alcoa shares finished marginally lower even as the company reported fourth-quarter earnings that were in-line with consensus forecast. The company also gave a bullish outlook for 2013. Alcoa shares ended the day 0.22% lower at $9.08.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) shares rallied in trading today, crossing $30 mark for the first time in six months, after the company sent out a press event invitation for next week at its Menlo Park campus. Investors and analysts are speculating that the company may introduce a phone or a search engine at the event next week. Facebook shares ended the day 5.26% higher at $30.59.
Other major movers in trading today were Apollo Group Inc. (NASDAQ: APOL), which ended the day 7.69% lower at $19.33, Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ: CLWR), which ended the day 7.19% higher at $3.13, and DISH Network Inc. (NASDAQ: DISH), which ended the day 2.45% higher at $36.85.
European markets ended mostly higher earlier today, with the FTSE 100 Index in London closing 0.74% higher, and the CAC 40 Index in Paris closing 0.31% higher. Asian markets also rose overnight, with the Nikkei 225 Index in Japan closing 0.67% higher, and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong closing 0.46% higher.