by Marc Bastow | April 25, 2012 5:16 pm
If a rising tide lifts all boats, than Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) might be considered the markets’ QE2. Following blowout earnings released Tuesday after the bell, AAPL shares rose 9% in trading Wednesday and leading the overall markets higher.
Apple’s performance helped lift the Nasdaq an astounding 2.3% to close at 3,029.63, and the S&P gained 1.36% to close at 1,390.69.
The Dow Jones benefited from positive news of its own, as continued strong earnings news and a positive economic outlook and decision by the Federal Open Market Committee to hold interest rates steady through 2014 helped push the index up 0.69% to 13,090.72.
Boeing (NYSE:BA), Harley Davidson (NYSE:HOG) and Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), all reported stronger results this morning, and by the afternoon, word of a 2:1 share split at Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) — and a dividend increase at Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) — helped sustain the morning rally.
Following news of the split, Coke shares touched $75 per share before settling at a 13-year high of $74.93, while XOM shares moved up fractionally to $86.85. Both actions require formal board and shareholder approval.
Boeing’s earnings came in at $1.22 per share, above analyst estimates of 94 cents, with revenues of $19.4 billion trumping estimates for $18.4 billion. Boeing finished up 5% at $77.08. LLY was up 2% as adjusted earnings of 92 cents per share topped estimates for 78 cents. Harley Davidson’s sales rose 20% to $1.7 billion, and net income soared 44% to 74 cents. Harley’s stock price roared up 6% to close at $53.49.
Not as fortunate on the day was Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), whose shares ended down 4.5% to $103 despite beating analyst estimates on both earnings and revenues.
Tomorrow’s big earnings’ notables include Colgate (NYSE:CL), Ford (NYSE:F), Kellogg (NYSE:K), Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
Marc Bastow is an assistant editor of InvestorPlace. As of this writing, he was long AAPL and XOM.
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