Stocks Close Mostly Higher On Upbeat Earnings News

Stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday, adding to the strong gains posted in the previous session. With the continued upward move, the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed to a new record closing high.

The major averages closed firmly in positive territory but off their best levels of the day. The Dow jumped 232.23 points or 1.1 percent to 20,996.12, the Nasdaq climbed 41.67 points or 0.7 percent to 6,025.49 and the S&P 500 rose 14.46 points or 0.6 percent to 2,388.61.

Buying interest was generated in reaction to upbeat earnings news from a number of well known companies, including DuPont (DD), Caterpillar (CAT) and McDonald’s (MCD).

Shares of DuPont saw significant strength after the chemical giant reported first quarter results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Construction equipment maker Caterpillar also moved notably higher after reporting better than expected first quarter results and raising its full-year guidance.

McDonald’s also reported first quarter earnings and revenues that exceeded analyst estimates, with the fast good giant also reporting an unexpected increase in comparable sales.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola (KO) reported first quarter earnings that came in below analyst estimates, although the beverage giant’s revenues were better than expected.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing that new home sales saw a substantial increase in the month of March.

The Commerce Department said new home sales jumped by 5.8 percent to an annual rate of 621,000 in March from a revised 587,000 in February.

Economists had expected new home sales to drop to a rate of 585,000 from the 592,000 originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Conference Board showed a bigger than expected pullback in consumer confidence in the month of April.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index fell to 120.3 in April from a revised 124.9 in March. Economists had expected the…

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