US Stocks Edge Slightly Higher on Earnings

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US Stocks Edge Slightly Higher on Earnings

US stocks opened slightly higher amid a slew of first quarter corporate earnings reports with most of the reports topping expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 52 points or 0.3% to 18,002 points to rebound from its 62-point drop in the previous session.

The technology heavy Nasdaq Composite added one point to 5,015 to continue inching closer to its record high recorded in 2000.

The S&P 500 Index advanced 5 points or 0.3% to 2102 points.

Earlier in the day MacDonald’s Corp reported a 2% drop in an important revenue metric in the United States from a year ago. The multinational fast food giant also recorded a bigger than expected decline in profit weighed down by the robust dollar.

Its shares however still advanced 4.2% as its revenue was in line with the consensus estimate of analysts polled by the Wall Street Journal.

According to Factset, from the 113 companies in the S&P that have released their earnings reports for the first quarter, earnings are on set to fall by more than 3.9% from 12 months ago.

This is despite the fact that more companies this season, 76%, than last season, 70%, have topped estimates. Analysts attribute the bigger number to austerity measures and downgraded estimates rather than organic growth.

Boeing Inc and Coca-Cola reported better than expected profit for the three month period ending March but Boeing reported a slowdown in revenue causing its shares to plunge in midday trading.

“The nice thing, Coca-Cola was better-than-expected. More important their revenue was better-than-expected, which I think that is a really good sign for multinationals,” JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade, told CNBC.

“What I”m hoping is some of the tech stocks are able to break through that pattern (of earnings beat, revenue miss on the strong dollar) because their products are hard to replicate,” he said, referring to software firms such as Microsoft that reports after the bell tomorrow.

To contact the reporter of the story: Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com