Earnings push Dow to 9-month high

Traders James Matthews, left, and John Panin work at the New York Stock Exchange. File photo / AP
Traders James Matthews, left, and John Panin work at the New York Stock Exchange. File photo / AP

Wall Street gained overnight amid better-than-expected earnings including for Hasbro and New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley's positive assessment of the US economy.

In 2.08pm New York trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index increased 0.3 percent. In 1.53pm trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 0.5 percent.

The Dow moved higher led by gains in shares of Walt Disney and those of Microsoft, up 2.6 percent and 1.5 percent respectively. Earlier in the session it went above the 18,000 mark for the first time in nine months, according to Bloomberg.

Walt Disney shares climbed after "Jungle Book" opened at the weekend box office in the top spot, grossing more than US$100 million.

Shares of Hasbro jumped, last 5.1 percent higher at 2pm trading in New York, after the company reported earnings that beat expectations.

"Demand for Star Wars: The Force Awakens products continued to be high and we benefited from the addition of Disney Princess and Frozen fashion and small dolls," Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner said in a statement.

"We are very encouraged with global demand and our outlook for 2016."

Shares of Morgan Stanley fell 0.6 percent in afternoon trading in New York, after the bank said its quarterly profit dropped by more than 50 percent.

Stephen Biggar, an analyst at Argus Research, said it would be "very difficult" for Morgan Stanley to achieve the return-on-equity target CEO James Gorman has set out with revenue as weak as it was last quarter, according to Reuters.

IBM and Netflix are scheduled to release results after markets close.

US Treasuries dropped, pushing yields on the 10-note three basis points higher to 1.78 percent, after the New York Fed's Dudley said that news on the US economy was "mostly favourable" and said the economic outlook for Europe has "started to improve."

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the session with a 0.4 percent advance from the previous close.

The UK's FTSE 100 Index rose 0.2 percent, France's CAC 40 Index gained 0.3 percent, while Germany's DAX Index rose 0.7 percent.

Oil traded higher, recovering from an earlier drop a day after the world's major producers failed to strike a deal to freeze output at a meeting in Doha. Supporting prices was a strike in Kuwait that lowered the country's daily crude production by more than half.

"Even if it's still negative, it's less negative than at the open since the Doha outcome was largely expected and there's rumours of a new meeting before June," John Plassard, a senior equity-sales trader at Mirabaud Securities in Geneva, told Bloomberg.

- BusinessDesk

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