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How major US stock market indexes fared on Thursday

28 April 2017

USA equities got off to a strong start on Tuesday as solid quarterly reports from several large-cap companies rolled through.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 20.48 points, or 0.10 percent, to 20975.64.

Energy was the biggest decliner among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, falling 1.1 per cent on the back of a 0.8 per cent decline in USA crude futures.

That dragged energy stocks in the S&P 500 down by 1.8 percent, double the loss of any of the other 10 sectors that make up the index.

"Earnings are very strong, you could see a 15 percent year-on-year growth on the S&P", said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer, Multi-Asset Strategies and Solutions at Voya Investment Management in NY. "They're beating forecasts, the numbers have been quite good and this is now the second consecutive quarter that's happened".

"Our efforts to build a better McDonald's are yielding meaningful results with continued positive momentum and a strong start to 2017 that includes positive comparable sales across all segments, higher global guest counts and enhanced profitability", McDonald's Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook said in a statement.

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Shares of Tyson traded 0.9% weaker as of 1.21pm in NY, while those of AdvancePierre traded 10.1 percent higher at US$40.36. Stock prices in recent years have been climbing faster than earnings, which has led skeptics to call the market overly pricey.

Ahead of the open, NBCUniversal parent Comcast reported better-than-expected quarterly profit of 53 cents per share and revenue also above forecasts.

Potash, which expects to close its merger with Agrium mid 2017, said it now expects full-year earnings of 45 U.S. cents to 65 United States cents per share, up from its January forecast for 35 USA cents to 55 U.S. cents.

And it wasn't the only big industrial company to cite signs of optimism among customers. Of those that have reported, 75% have exceeded first-quarter earnings estimates, above the historical average of 64%.

The news pulled down shares of other US carriers, including Delta DAL.N and United Continental UAL.N .

With internet stocks booming, the Nasdaq took just one-and-a-half more years to get to 4,000, and only another three months after that to hit 5,000 for the first time, in March 2000.

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OUTLIER: Express Scripts Holding was among the few stocks to fall on Tuesday, and it lost $7.65, or 11.4 percent, to $59.60.

In economic news, U.S. home prices rose more than expected in February, according to new data from the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index.

Even with so many corporate earnings reports on the docket, politics is still at centre stage for stocks as well.

American stock markets have joined in a global equities rally as investors welcomed the French election result.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 rose 0.2 percent and reached its highest closing level since 2008.

Japan's Topix fell 0.2%.

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Dow member Boeing dropped 1.0 percent after reporting a 7.3 percent drop in revenues to $21 billion (R278.70 billion), falling short of the $21.3 billion expected by analysts.