Two high-profile CEOs jumped under the spotlight Tuesday while investors pushed the major U.S. stock indices higher following positive comments by a Federal Reserve official — in advance of Wednesday’s congressional testimony by Ben Bernanke — that relaxed concerns about the Fed’s quantitative easing program.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped back to a record high, rising 0.34% to end at 15387.58, while the S&P 500 also broke into record ground, improving 0.17% to 1669.16. The Nasdaq gained 0.16% to end at 3502.12.
JPMorgan (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon withstood a challenge to his dual role as chairman of the board and CEO at the banking institution, and Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook hung in while being grilled before Congress about Apple’s tax practices. Neither incident had much effect on their respective companies’ stocks, with JPM improving just more than 1% and AAPL slipping fractionally.
In earnings news, Home Depot (HD) rose more than 2% after posting first-quarter profits of 83 cents per share on revenues of $19 billion, topping expectations of 6 cents on $19 billion, respectively, while also improving its full-year outlook.
Medical technology company Medtronic (MDC) moved ahead just under 5% after posting a 4% year-over-year advance in its fourth-quarter revenues thanks to improving sales of heart and spinal devices.
Headed the other way was Carnival Corp. (CCL), down over 4% after it cut guidance for the second time this year, and was promptly downgraded from “outperform” to “market perform” by both Wells Fargo and UBS.
Best Buy (BBY) also saw its shares tumble, down more than 4% after reporting that first-quarter revenue fell almost 10% compared to the year-ago quarter, and sales for stores open at least 14 months fell over 1.4%. BBY did manage to post adjusted EPS of 36 cents, better than Wall Street estimates for 25 cents.
Earnings notables for Wednesday include Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and SeaWorld (SEAS).
- Yingli Green Energy (YGE): Up 14.5% (45 cents) to $3.68.
- Saks (SKS): Up 11.3% ($1.39) to $13.67%.
- Sony (SNE): Up 9.3% ($1.94) to $22.91.
- Solarcity (SCTY): Down 13.7% ($7.08) to $44.52.
- Arm Holdings (ARMH): Down 5.3% ($2.65) to $47.24.
- Zale (ZLC): Down 4.6% (26 cents) to $5.40.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he is long AAPL.