The sun shines on Wall Street
Major gauges sizzle on the first day of summer after better-than-expected earnings reports from FedEx and Morgan Stanley.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Blue chips soared for the second straight session Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average up over 100 points while the broader market posted solid gains, as investors cheered several strong earnings reports.
The Dow (up 104.62 to 11,079.46, Charts) rose 1 percent, marking a two-day winning streak.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index (up 12.08 to 1,252.20, Charts) also gained 1 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite (up 34.14 to 2,141.20, Charts) climbed 1.6 percent, both snapping a three-day losing streak.
All three major gauges were higher earlier in the session on the heels of earnings news from Morgan Stanley and FedEx but slipped in late afternoon trade.
Stocks have struggled in recent days as concerns over rates, inflation and the economy persisted, with the major indexes swinging to losses for the year in early June before rebounding.
"We've bounced a little bit off of recent lows but I don't think you can get too excited about it," cautioned Scott Wren, senior equity strategist at A.G. Edwards & Sons. "I think you can basically expect this market to remain pretty volatile."
"Over the course of the next five or six trading days, until the meeting, we're going to have some back and forth," Wren said, referring to the Federal Reserve's policy meeting June 28-29.
With little other news on deck, investors will be focused on Rite Aid and Oracle earnings, both due out Thursday, as well as the May reading on leading indicators due Thursday and the durable goods orders report slated for Friday.
Eye on earnings
Among stocks in the Dow, 25 rose and five fell.
The Dow's biggest gainer was DuPont (up $1.70 to $41.94, Charts), which soared over 4 percent a day after news of a partnership with BP (up $1.31 to $67.01, Charts) to develop a gasoline additive meant to compete with corn-based ethanol.
FedEx (up $5.54 to $113.86, Charts) reported a better-than-expected gain in fiscal fourth-quarter results and gave first-quarter guidance above current analysts' forecasts. Shares jumped 5 percent on the news.
Darden Restaurants (up $1.74 to $37.30, Charts) gained nearly 5 percent after the restaurant-chain operator said Tuesday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit grew 10 percent, thanks to stronger sales at its Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants.
In other news, shares of Ford (up $0.03 to $6.43, Charts) edged higher after the automaker said it is on track to meet its goal of making its North American auto business profitable by 2008. In the previous session, Ford shares hit a 13-year low.
Texas Instruments (up $0.45 to $30.35, Charts) had its long-term debt upgraded to A1 from A2 by credit rating service Moody's, sending shares up 1.5 percent. Chipmakers Advanced Micro Devices (up $0.55 to $25.42, Charts) and Intel (up $0.25 to $18.40, Charts) were also higher.
Market breadth was positive. On the New York Stock Exchange, advancers beat decliners by a margin of three to one on volume of 1.7 billion shares. On the Nasdaq, winners topped losers by more than two to one as 1.9 billion shares changed hands.
Oil prices jumped 99 cents to $70.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after the Energy Information Administration, in its weekly stockpile report, said crude supplies rose more than expected but gasoline supplies rose less than expected.
COMEX gold for August delivery rose $10.50 to $591 an ounce. Platinum, silver and copper were also higher.
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