28 Jan 2009

Wall St rises on positive company resultsoil

12:17 pm on 28 January 2009

US stocks climbed on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq up for a third straight day following encouraging earnings news from companies.

American Express jumped nearly 10% and gave the biggest boost to the Dow after the credit card company posted a quarterly profit that surpassed analysts' forecasts.

Chip maker Texas Instruments, up 3.7% at $US15.31, gave the technology sector a welcome reprieve after its quarterly profit fell less than feared.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 58.70 points, or 0.72%, to 8,174.73. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 9.14 points, or 1.09%, to 845.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 15.44 points, or 1.04%, to 1,504.90.

After the closing bell, Moody's Investors Service said it may cut its top ratings on General Electric Co and its finance arm, citing increased uncertainty about outlook. The stock fell 4.6% to $12.46 in after-hours trading.

The earnings news went some way to offset bleak economic data issued on Tuesday, with a survey showing US consumer confidence had slipped to a record low in January, and US home prices plunged 18.2% in November from a year earlier.