US stocks extend rally on solid earnings

NEW YORK (AFP) – Wall Street stocks turned in another positive session on Tuesday (Oct 19), shrugging off lacklustre housing data as mostly good earnings lifted confidence about results in the coming days.

A heavy week of earnings results accelerated with good reports from Dow members Travelers, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble, even as the latter said higher commodity and transportation costs hit profit margins.

“The market continues to improve based on strong earnings that are continuing to pour in,” despite high oil prices, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6 per cent to end the day at 35,457.31.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 0.7 per cent to close at , while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also won 0.7 per cent to 15,129.09.

While earnings took center stage, US government data showed home construction slowed in September on a sharp drop off in building of apartments.

Housing projects started last month fell 1.6 per cent compared to August to an annual rate of 1.55 million units, seasonally adjusted, the Commerce Department reported.

Among individual companies reporting results, Travelers climbed 1.7 per cent and Johnson & Johnson rose 2.4 per cent while Procter & Gamble dropped 1.1 per cent.

The Bitcoin Strategy ETF, a new vehicle launched by ProShares on Tuesday, rose 4.7 per cent to US$41.89 in its first session on the New York Stock Exchange.

The exchange-traded fund, which is linked to bitcoin futures rather than directly to the digital currency, trades under the ticker “BITO” and bills itself as an accessible investment vehicle for mainstream shareholders.