U.S. Markets open in 6 hrs 7 mins

Stock Valuations Higher With Positive Bank Earnings Reports

- By Julie Young

U.S. market indexes were higher Wednesday. For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18202.69 for a gain of 40.75 points or 0.22%. The S&P 500 closed at 2144.29 for a gain of 4.69 points or 0.22%. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 5246.41 for a gain of 2.58 points or 0.05%. The VIX Volatility Index was lower at 14.29 for a loss of -0.99 points or -6.48%.

In the Dow Jones Industrial Average, stocks leading gains for the day included the following:

American Express (AXP) 1.95%

Visa (NYSE:V) 1.51%

Nike (NKE) 1.13%

Goldman Sachs (GS) 1.09%

JPMorgan (JPM) 0.96%

On the economic calendar, housing starts and the Beige Book were the focus for the day. Other reports included the MBA Mortgage Applications, Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations and the EIA Petroleum Status Report. Housing starts were slightly below expectations at 1.047 million SAAR versus the consensus of 1.180 million SAAR. For the previous month, housing starts were 1.142 million SAAR. The Beige Book continued to show the pace of economic growth at modest to moderate. Mortgage applications were up 0.6% for the week. The inflation expectations reported by the Atlanta Fed was 1.7% annually. Oil inventories reported by the EIA Petroleum Status report were down -5.2 million barrels for the week.

Stocks were higher Wednesday with a positive earnings report from Morgan Stanley. The company beat revenue and earnings expectations. Revenue was $8.91 billion, beating expectations by $740 million. Earnings per share were 81 cents, beating expectations by 18 cents.

A CNBC report Wednesday provided more details on the bank's earnings report.

Disclosure: I do not own any stocks included in this article.

Start a free 7-day trial of Premium Membership to GuruFocus.

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.