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US stocks end mixed amid strong earnings

United States America,Business/Economy, Wed, 25 Apr 2012 IANS

New York, April 25 (IANS) US stocks ended mixed Tuesday as investors weighed stronger-than-expected corporate earnings against lackluster economic data.


The Dow Jones industrial average gained 74.39 points, or 0.58 percent, to 13,001.56. The Standard & Poor's 500 was up 5.03 points, or 0.37 percent, to 1,371.97. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 8.85 points, or 0.30 percent, to 2,961.60, Xinhua reported.


AT&T surged over 3.5 percent, best performer among 30 Dow components, after the largest US phone company posted first-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates on lower smartphone upgrade costs and an increase in wireless data sales related to Apple's iPad.


3M was also leading in the Dow after the company reported a 4 percent gain in the first quarter, beating Wall Street estimates, on a strong performance in its transportation business and growth in the Americas.


On the economic front, home prices in 20 major metropolitan areas in the US fell by 0.8 percent in February, according to the S& P/Case-Shiller report. However, the reading was slightly better than expectation.


Another report showed consumer sentiment was virtually unchanged in April after the index pulled back from one-year higher in the previous month.


According to its monthly survey, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index slipped slightly to 69.2 from 69.5, lower than the market expectation of 69.6.


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