U.S. stocks gained strength on Wednesday, thanks to investors’ optimism over rebound in oil prices, decent corporate earnings and the U.S. Senate’s approval of a coronavirus relief package worth $484 billion, aimed to assist small businesses.
The three major indices — the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite — closed in the green on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 23,475.82 after increasing 2%, the broader S&P 500 reached 2,799.31after rising 2.3% and the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite hit 8,495.38 after adding 2.8%.
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined 1.1% to close at 41.52 on Apr 22.
Oil Prices Find Some Ground
Major U.S. benchmarks were supported by an upward movement in oil prices on Wednesday. The commodity managed to recover some ground after days of losing streaks. On Wednesday, West Texas Intermediate for June delivery rose 6.9% to hit $14.71 a barrel and Brent crude, the global benchmark, surged 5.3% to reach $21.45 a barrel.
The spike in oil prices came after fresh U.S.-Iran tensions developed on the horizon. In a tweet on Apr 22, President Donald Trump said that he had “instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.”
The tweet came after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard carried out a space launch that could further the country’s long-range missile program and the U.S. Navy reported that 11 Guard naval gunboats had taken “dangerous and harassing approaches” to American Navy and Coast Guard vessels in the Persian Gulf.
Q1 Earnings Make Investors Hopeful
Shares of Kimberly-Clark Corporation KMB rose 2.4% on Apr 22 after the company reported first-quarter 2020 results. The consumer products manufacturer’s earnings also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate, marking its fifth consecutive beat.
The company’s quarterly earnings came in at $2.13 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.01. In addition, Kimberly-Clark’s sales were reported at $5,009 million, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,894 million as well. (Read more)
Shares of NextEra Energy, Inc. NEE added 5% on Wednesday after the electric power generator reported first-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings of $2.38 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.21.
In addition, NextEra Energy’s operating revenues were $4,613 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,607 million. A major reason behind the company’s impressive revenues is the continued operations of the company’s capital projects despite the coronavirus-triggered lockdown. (Read more)
Shares of First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. FR gained 2.2% on Apr 22 following the company’s reported earnings of $0.45 per share for the first-quarter 2020, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.44.
However, the company’s revenues for the quarter failed to meet the estimates. First Industrial Realty Trust, which belongs to the Zacks REIT and Equity Trust - Other industry, posted revenues of $110.34 million for the quarter ended March 2020, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.8%. (Read more)
Kimberly-Clark and NextEra Energy carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). First Industrial Realty Trust carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Stocks That Made Headlines
Kinder Morgan Meets Q1 Earnings Estimates, Ups Dividend
Kinder Morgan, Inc. KMI reported first-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per share of 24 cents, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. (Read more)
TechnipFMC Q1 Earnings and Revenues Miss Estimates
TechnipFMCplc FTI shares declined almost 8% in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the company reported first-quarter 2020 adjusted loss of 11 cents per share. (Read more)
Evercore Q1 Earnings Impressive, Stock Declines 5.9%
Evercore EVR reported first-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per share of $1.21, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.03. (Read more)
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