by Marc Bastow | April 26, 2012 5:22 pm
U.S. stocks followed up on Wednesday’s positive momentum with another move north Thursday despite weak news on the unemployment front and a mixed bag of earnings reports.
The Dow finished the day up 0.91% to 13,000, while the S&P rose 0.69% to 1,400 and the Nasdaq 0.71% to 3,050.
A number of big names declined on earnings news Thursday, including Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), UPS (NYSE:UPS) and Aetna (NYSE:AET).
Health care giant Aetna was pummeled by more than 8% after it reported a first-quarter earnings decline of 13% to $411 million ($1.43 per share), falling short of Wall Street expectations of $1.40. UPS fell 1.75% as earnings rose 6% to $970 million ($1 per share) but just missed analyst estimates. Exxon reported first-quarter earnings of $9.45 billion ($2 per share), down from $10.65 billion ($2.14) it earned a year earlier and missing estimates of $2.09 per share. XOM fell less than 1% on the news.
Meanwhile, first-quarter profit at Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) slid 7%; however, core results still topped expectations, and the company lifted its full-year guidance, sending shares rocketing up 12% to a close of over $86.
The auto industry continues to see a rebound, as Chrysler reported its best quarter in more than 13 years. The automaker earned $473 million in the quarter, more than quadruple the $116 million it earned in the year-earlier period. All eyes will now turn to Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) who report tomorrow and May 3, respectively.
Afternoon headlines were dominated by earnings news from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX).
Amazon was soaring by more than 12% in early after-hours trading after it reported first-quarter net income of 28 cents per share. The figure was down from 44 cents per share last year, but better than estimates for 7 cents per share. Sales also increased, to $13.18 billion from $9.86 billion in the previous year.
Net income for Starbucks rose to $309.9 million (40 cents per share) vs. $261.6 million (34 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier, with revenues up 14.7% to $3.2 billion; analysts were looking for EPS of 39 cents. SBUX shares were trading down nearly 5%.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long AAPL and XOM.
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