Stocks Gain in Early Trading, S&P 500 Crosses 500 Mark

U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading on Friday as the market sentiment was upbeat in the wake of better than expected quarterly results from blue chip companies while a robust German ifo data also raised hopes that euro zone was finally seeing some turnaround in the economy.

At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index gained 0.26%, the NASDAQ Composite Index climbed 0.55% while the S&P 500 Index edged up 0.34%.

All key S&P 500 sectors were trading in green territory with energy and telecom stocks gaining the most.

Shares of Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB) gained nearly 5% in early trade on Friday after the company’s quarterly results fared better than Street’s expectations. The consumer products company’s full year outlook on earnings and revenue was also in line with analysts’ expectation.

Shares of The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) edged up on Friday after consumer goods giant posted stronger-than-expected earnings as product segments gained market share. The Company also boosted its sales and earnings outlook for fiscal 2013.

Shares of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) gained on Friday. Although the U.S’s second largest mobile services company’s earnings fell a tad short from Wall Street estimate, revenue during the period rose at faster-than-expected rate, thanks to strong growth in mobile subscriptions.

Shares of Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) jumped 4% in early trade after the company announced better-than-expected quarterly earnings in spite of  a slowdown in natural gas industry in the North American region.

Elsewhere in Europe, all leading benchmark indexes were gaining with Pan European Stoxx 600 Index up 0.24%, FTSE 100 gaining0.23% while Germany’s DAX climbing 1.42%. Investors risk appetite increased by significantly after German ifo Index, a gauge on business sentiment, showed a sharp rise – more than what economists anticipated.

In Asia Nikkei rallied 2.88% on Friday after Bank of Japan reaffirmed its pledge to keep monetary policy extremely accommodating in order to lift the economy out of recession.

edliston

edliston

Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at TheStockMarketWatch.com. An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.

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