In the middle of earnings season, it's financial reports that should drive stocks, and today that's exactly what's happening. A number of strong earnings reports from a wide range of industries are driving stocks higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has climbed 0.35% as of 3:20 p.m. EST, and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) is up 0.43%.
Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG ) was the big winner on the Dow, jumping 3.5% after reporting earnings. Revenue rose just 2% to $22.18 billion, but analysts had only expected $21.86 billion. The bottom-line results were even better, with earnings coming in $0.11 higher than estimates at $1.22 per share. Investors had been concerned about a deteriorating bottom line, so this should put that to rest for the time being.
Halliburton (NYSE: HAL ) is the talk of the energy industry today, and its stock is up 5% in the session. In the latest quarter, the company's profit fell 26% to $669 million, or $0.72 per share, but the company has survived a decline in U.S. drilling better than investors expected. The lower results still topped estimates, and investors are hoping that growing revenue in international markets will present new opportunities for the company.
All but seven of the Dow's 30 components are up today, and the one leading the losers is Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) , down 1.3%. The company reports fourth-quarter earnings on Monday, but it did say that global machinery sales fell 1% from a year ago, while engine sales dropped 2%. Mining companies aren't spending the way they did a year ago, and it's impacting Caterpillar's results.
There's a lot of momentum in the stock market right now, and the S&P 500 is set to hit its eighth straight day in the black.
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