Wall Street eked out modest gains yesterday to finish the week higher, overcoming tepid earnings from Microsoft and a fresh surge in crude-oil...
NEW YORK — Wall Street eked out modest gains yesterday to finish the week higher, overcoming tepid earnings from Microsoft and a fresh surge in crude-oil futures to extend Wall Street’s rally for a fourth consecutive week.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 23.41 to 10,651.18.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, fell 76 cents yesterday to close at $25.68 a share, off 0.4 percent for the week. Boeing, also a Dow stocks, gained 49 cents yesterday to $66.20, up 2.2 percent for the week.
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Broader stock indicators also made gains. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 6.64 to 1,233.68, while the Nasdaq composite index gained 1.14 to 2,179.74.
For the week, the Dow ended up 0.1 percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent, and the Nasdaq rose 1.1 percent.
Microsoft’s after-hours earnings report Thursday initially failed to provide any lift. While it posted a 37 percent gain in net earnings, a large part of that came in a tax benefit, and analysts worried that the company’s operating earnings weren’t seeing stronger growth.
A jump in oil prices also stymied trading for much of the session. A barrel of light crude was quoted on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $58.65, up $1.52.
Yet investors’ optimism, buoyed by generally strong earnings throughout the week, asserted itself in late trading and produced modest gains for the major indexes. Maintaining that optimism, however, with stocks near four-year highs, will be difficult in the days ahead.
“The markets are just treading water here,” said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at Spencer Clarke. “Despite a generally positive week of earnings, the markets are in for a bit of consolidation or profit-taking over the next few days.”
Analysts noted that the markets rallied even as oil prices moved to their highs of the session, showing that investors are looking forward with optimism.
“Considering this is a Friday in July, the market’s a little more constructive than I’d expect it to be,” said Richard Madigan, equity analyst with J.P. Morgan Private Bank. “We’ve had a few earnings issues, but they’re overall pretty good. I think the market wants to consolidate here and maybe then move up some more.”
Kimberly-Clark rose $1.44 to $64.29 as the maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers said it would cut 6,000 jobs and sell or close up to 20 manufacturing plants as part of a restructuring plan.