Earnings season is well underway, and it's been interesting to see how various earnings reports have had a huge impact on the markets. With the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) having risen to within a few hundred points of their all-time high, continuing positive surprises on the earnings front could be the catalyst that extends the bull market beyond the four-year mark this March.
Within the Dow this morning, Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) added itself to the list of companies making shareholders happy, reporting profits that more than doubled over the year-ago quarter. Even including the impact of restructuring costs and expense-cutting measures, P&G's earnings came in well above expectations, and more importantly, the consumer giant pushed up its estimates for its full 2013 fiscal year. With P&G having taken a lot of flak recently for failed product launches and inefficiencies, this report could well change sentiment among investors, as the stock is poised to hit new five-year highs. The stock is up a whopping 3.3% as of 10:50 a.m. EST.
Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) also reported its quarterly results. Although it managed to top estimates, the oil services company nevertheless reported a drop in net income of 35%. Despite plentiful new opportunities for energy exploration and production around the world, activity in Halliburton's key domestic market has been relatively slow, as a glut of natural gas amid low prices has led to a reduction in onshore drilling. However, as it continues to emphasize the potential of its deepwater services, Halliburton has set the stage for a promising future, as that market seems to have almost boundless growth. The stock is up 5% so far today.
Finally, Honeywell (NYSE:HON) managed to top estimates in its quarterly report this morning, reversing a year-ago loss by posting a profit of $0.32 per share. Despite dealing with a somewhat sluggish growth environment in which revenue rose only 1%, the company has managed to boost margins in order to help its net income recover. Honeywell also affirmed its guidance for 2013, sending shares higher.