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Overnight Markets: US stocks advance on Bernanke assurance

Equities gained after the Fed chief left the door open to more stimulus and Coca-Cola and Goldman Sachs unveiled earnings that exceeded forecasts.

Overnight Markets: US stocks advance on Bernanke assurance

Wall Street moved up on Tuesday as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke left the door open to more stimulus and Coca-Cola and Goldman Sachs unveiled earnings that exceeded forecasts.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 78 points, or 0.62%, at 12,806. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 10 points, or 0.74%, at 1,364. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 13 points, or 0.45%, at 2,910.

Equities declined early in the trading session yesterday on Bernanke’s lack of specifics about stimulative quantitative easing measures in testimony before a Senate committee. But shares recovered after the Fed chief said that the central bank would consider a range of measures to further stimulate growth if it became clear unemployment was not falling or if deflation risks mounted.

In earnings news, Goldman Sachs shares ended up 0.3% even as its quarterly profit fell 12%. Coca-Cola Co, which also topped consensus forecasts, rose 1.6%.

Healthcare products maker Johnson & Johnson slashed its full-year profit forecast on Tuesday. But the shares added 0.8%.

Mattel Inc. surged 9.7% after second-quarter profit exceeded the average analyst estimate.

The basic materials sector was among gainers, with fertiliser company Mosaic jumping 5.1% after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results.

Shares of financial company State Street Corp fell 6.4% after it said second-quarter net income fell.

Walt Disney Co. rallied 3.1% to a record after Bank of America Corp. analysts raised the world’s largest entertainment company to a buy.

Asia swings between gains and losses

In Asia, equities oscillated between gains and losses on Wednesday after Bernanke expressed his willingness to act to boost economic growth, while Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao warned of a “severe” jobs outlook.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 116.08 as of 12:28 p.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.2%. South Korea’s Kospi Index fell 0.6% after briefly extending its losses before the Korean Central News Agency said North Korea officially made leader Kim Jong Un the nation’s Marshal.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.7% while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.3%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index retreated 0.1%.

1 comment so far. Why not have your say?

joe stalin

Jul 18, 2012 at 08:47

With options expiring on Friday this market will go nowhere.

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