Wall St rises on strong earnings; financials lead

Wall St rises on strong earnings; financials lead

New York: US stocks rose on Thursday after several companies reported solid earnings that lent credence to the idea corporate profitability has stabilized.

Financials were among the top gainers after insurer Travelers Cos Inc raised its full-year outlook and New York Fed President William Dudley said the Federal Reserve may not lose money on the emergency programs it put in place to fight the financial crisis.

Shares of J Crew Group Inc soared 15.2% to $43.49 after the clothing retailer raised its outlook for the third and fourth quarters, citing stronger-than-expected sales and margin trends expected to last throughout the year.

J Crew led retailers higher, with the S&P retail index up 1.7%.

“Stocks have been slowly inching their way up. Financials have clearly been an outperformer after being a leader on the downside yesterday," said Michael James, senior trader at Wedbush Morgan in Los Angeles.

“We’ve had strength all day on retailers with J Crew pre-announcing much better numbers this morning," James said.

Dow components 3M Co, AT&T Inc and McDonald’s Corp all rose after their profits beat expectations.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 131.95 points, or 1.33%, to end at 10,081.31. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 11.51 points, or 1.06%, to 1,092.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 14.56 points, or 0.68%, to 2,165.29.

Regional bank PNC Financial Services Group Inc spiked 12.7% to $50.65 after reporting far better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

The S&P financial index added 2.9% and the KBW Bank Index jumped 3.4%.

Blue-chip 3M also raised its full-year outlook, sending its shares up 3.2% to $78.79. Travelers rose 7.7% to $51.70.

Shares of home builders also ranked among the top gainers, with the Dow Jones U.S. home construction index up 5.3%. Shares of KB Home jumped 7.5% to $16.17 and Pulte Homes gained 6.5% to $10.44.

The New York Times Co beat quarterly revenue and profit forecasts because of cost cuts and higher newspaper prices even as advertising sales fell, driving its shares up 22.5% to $10.72.

On the down side, Union Pacific Corp fell 2.9% to $61.12 after the No. 1 US railroad offered a more conservative pricing outlook for the full year.