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In the tug-of-war between earnings and Europe, the globetrotters won out today. Investors interpreted European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi's comments as bullish for the market, which had lost a lot of ground earlier in the week on concerns about Italy and Spain. Despite data from Reuters showing that earnings of S&P 500 stocks in the third quarter are expected to drop by 0.1% from year-ago levels, the markets chose to focus on the positives, and the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) wound up gaining more than 210 points on the day.
Only one Dow stock fell: Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO ) . The stock still hasn't come close to recovering from its 6% loss earlier in the week, as the market reacted badly to job cuts, and Cisco's explanation that weak IT spending is affecting the entire industry. But with competition becoming even fiercer than in past years, Cisco needs to find a way to overcome weakness and recapture part of its former glory in leading the networking segment.
Meanwhile, United Technologies (NYSE: UTX ) was a relative laggard, gaining only 0.4%. The company reported earnings this morning, with only a 1% gain in net income in the second quarter coming on 5% weaker revenue. With falling orders from its jet engine and elevator segments, United Technologies will be looking to its now-closed acquisition of Goodrich (NYSE: GR ) to help cement growth prospects.
Finally, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) finished up two-thirds of a percent. The company announces its earnings next week, and analysts expect a 10% year-over-year drop in earnings per share to $0.54 on a 12% drop in revenue. With the pharma giant seeking ways to make up for lost revenue from generic competition, investors will be looking to Pfizer to come up with answers on how it can return to a growth trajectory.
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