by Marc Bastow | July 17, 2012 5:14 pm
Ha! Take that, Ben!
U.S. markets managed to rally throughout the day despite the Fed chairman’s warnings that both European debt concerns and the possibility of a U.S. “fiscal cliff” event are hindering an economic recovery. Bernanke also told a Senate panel this morning that the Fed “is prepared to take further action as appropriate,” according to prepared testimony.
Instead of allowing Bernanke’s news to dominate the day, investors were buoyed by better-than-expected earnings from both Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and rising industrial production and consumer prices in June. The S&P 500 was up 0.74% to finish at 1,363, the Dow rose 0.62% to end at 12,805 and the Nasdaq gained 0.45% to 2,910.
Company-specific news was mostly positive, starting with Coca-Cola reporting earnings per share of $1.21 on revenue of $13 billion, both figures better than analysts’ forecasts. Goldman Sachs followed suit, with admittedly lower EPS of $1.87 on $6.63 billion in revenue beating consensus estimates. KO shares gained 1.5%, while GS was up a more muted 0.5%.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) barely beat estimates with EPS of $1.30, revenues of $16.5 billion came in lower than expected and the company even trimmed its full-year forecasts — yet JNJ shares still kept their head above water, up just less than 1%.
Indeed, the entire pharmaceutical sector managed to make a rally out of a molehill, as Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Medtronic (NYSE:MED) finished ahead by 2%, while Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) both finished up over 1.5%.
Former Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) executive Marissa Mayer was tapped to lead Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) — and while the industry respects the choice, the task left investors less sanguine, as the stock lost 0.3% on the day.
Sprint (NYSE:S) continued a recent run as the telecom company launched its new 4G LTE network, which it says is about 10 times faster than the commonly used 3G phones. Sprint expects to offer faster service in 15 U.S. cities. Sprint shares added more than 5% on the day, and are up over 10% in the past five trading days.
Finally, shares of toy maker Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) soared more than 9% on the day after reporting growth on both the top and bottom lines in excess of estimates. Mattel’s results were bolstered by a solid performance of Other Girls Brands, Barbie and Hot Wheels products sold well. Rival Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) also rose 2.75% on the news.
Earnings continue to pour out tomorrow, with IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) among the notables.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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