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The major equity averages have modestly extended the prior session's sharp rally. The effort comes on the back of a big batch of earnings.
Apple (AAPL 352.12, +9.71) and Qualcomm (QCOM 56.85, +1.58) both posted pleasing results for the latest quarter, helping drive the tech sector to a 1% gain.
Financials have even garnered support after they had lagged in the past couple of sessions and even faltered this morning. That sector is up 0.6% amid leadership from Morgan Stanley (MS 26.61, +0.57), BlackRock (BLK 197.78, +4.06), and Dow component Travelers (TRV 60.98, +1.85). However, consumer finance plays Capital One (COF 53.45, +2.92) and American Express (AXP 47.18, +0.18) are up with varied gains while regional banks Fifth Third (FITB 13.12, -0.20), SunTrust (STI 27.26, -0.37), and BB&T (BBT 25.78, -0.81) have struggled. All of them announced earnings that exceeded what Wall Street had expected.
General Electric (GE 19.97, -0.43) also announced upside earnings and threw in a dividend hike. Fellow industrial outfit Honeywell (HON 60.83, +2.09) had stronger-than-expected earnings of its own, but complemented its report with an improved forecast.
Dow component McDonalds (MCD 77.11, -1.29) has handed back all of yesterday's gain, despite strong earnings. Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG 278.60, -9.50) has also dropped, despite better-than-expected earnings and its addition to the S&P500. However, Yum! Brands (YUM 54.44, +2.89) has spiked to a new 52-week high, even though earnings from the owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Long John Silver's came short of the consensus estimate.
Health care stocks are off of session highs, but they continue to sport a collective gain of 0.7% following a strong response to the latest results from UnitedHealth (UNH 47.83, +3.59) and Boston Scientific (BSX 7.29, +0.21). Amgen (AMGN 53.46, -2.72) has dropped sharply following its latest quarterly report.
Neither Schlumberger (SLB 89.90, +2.01) nor Noble (NE 42.31, -1.12) managed to meet earnings estimates, but Diamond Offshore (DO 77.65, +1.25) posted an upside surprise. The energy sector has managed to muster a modest gain of 0.3%. Oil prices trade with the same gain at $111.75 per barrel.
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