Trading on Wall Street was dominated by earnings announcements from blue-chip companies on Tuesday, while big carmakers rose off the back of a meeting with President Donald Trump.
Results from the likes of DuPont, Verizon and Lockheed Martin pushed the broad market slightly higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.6 per cent to 19,912, while the S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent to 2,280. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.9 per cent 5,600.
Shares in car companies rose after the meeting between Mr Trump and the chief executives from General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, where he is said to have promised to soften environmental regulations. GM’s stock climbed 1 per cent to $37.00, Ford 2.4 per cent to $12.61 and Fiat 5.8 per cent to $10.88.
Verizon, the largest US telecoms group by customers, announced mixed fourth-quarter results, sending its stock tumbling 4.4 per cent to $50.12 at the close in New York, dragging down the S&P 500 telecoms sector, which fell 2.8 per cent
The New York-based company reported adjusted earnings of 86 cents a share on $32.3bn in revenue, compared with analysts’ forecasts for 89 cents a share on $32.2bn in revenue. The company added 21,000 net pay TV customers in the three months to the end of December, also shy of projections. Verizon also said it added 591,000 net postpaid subscribers, considerably short of the 744,000 that Wall Street had forecast.
The earnings come as investors await guidance on the fate of Verizon’s $4.8bn deal to buy Yahoo, after two high-profile hacks on the internet company prompted Verizon to consider reducing its purchase price or pulling out of the acquisition.
Verizon said it “continues to work with Yahoo to assess the impact of data breaches. Yahoo on Monday said the deal would be delayed until the second quarter as it worked on “integration planning” with Verizon.
Shares in DuPont rose 4.5 per cent to $76.05 after the chemicals group reported underlying earnings per share up 89 per cent at 51 cents for the fourth quarter of 2016, well above analysts’ expectations.
DuPont cut costs in preparation for the merger with Dow Chemical, the closing date for which had once again been pushed back. The two companies buoyed the materials sector of the S&P 500, which rose 2.5 per cent.
Lockheed Martin reported better than expected fourth-quarter results, but issued a downbeat full-year outlook, sending its shares down 1.8 per cent to $252.91. The US defence contractor that has come under pressure from Mr Trump over the cost of its F-35 fighter jets said profits rose to $988m or $3.35 a share in the three months ended in December, compared with $933m or $3.01 a share in the year-ago period.
Sales increased more than 19 per cent from a year ago to $13.8bn. Analysts were looking for earnings of $2.93 a share on sales of $13bn.