U.S. stocks were steady in mid-day trading, with the Nasdaq paring most of its earlier losses by as string of strong earnings reports from wide ranging industries lifted the sentiment notwithstanding drop in consumer confidence index and some unease ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy statement on Wednesday.
At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index edged up 0.40%; the NASDAQ Composite Index slipped 0.04% while the S&P 500 Index gained 0.32%.
Among all key S&P 500 sectors, energy and telecoms rallied while tech and consumer discretionary stocks lagged, according to Thomson Reuters.
Shares of Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO
) leaped nearly 9% by midday trade on Tuesday after petroleum refining and marketing company reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter earnings.
Shares of drug makers Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE
) and Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY
) gained on Tuesday after both companies’ quarterly earnings topped Wall Street’s forecasts.
In spite of sharp drop in quarterly earnings and decline in sales during the fiscal fourth quarter, shares of Boston Scientific corporation (NYSE: BSX
) gained nearly 5% by midday trade as EPS were in line with analysts’ expectation. The Company also announced that it will be slashing another 900 to 1000 jobs in fiscal 2013 to rein in costs.
A data provided by the Conference Board showed that consumer confidence index fell to 58.6 in January from 66.7 in December. Economists polled by Reuters were expecting index dropping to 64.0
The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for 20 metro areas tacked higher 0.6 percent in November on a seasonally adjusted basis after a 0.6 percent uptick in October. The gain was in line with expectations.
The Federal Reserve’s two-day FOMC will conclude tomorrow and investors are hoping to receive some hints from central bank as to the longevity of its ongoing quantitative easing.
In Europe, equities ended mainly higher on Tuesday with Stoxx 600 edging up 0.32%; FTSE ending 0.71% higher while DAX gaining 0.20%.