May Brings a Bloom to the Dow — Tuesday’s IP Market Recap

by Marc Bastow | May 1, 2012 5:07 pm

InvestorPlace Market Recap[1]The Dow reached a four-year high today as strong manufacturing news from China and the U.S. combined with continued positive earnings momentum to get May off to a rousing start.

The Dow touched the 13,339 mark, its highest since December 2007 before settling at 13,279, up 0.5%. The S&P was up 0.57% to 1,406, and the Nasdaq finished at 3,050, up 0.13%.

The Dow rally was broad-based, as more than 70% of the index stocks finished the day ahead.

U.S. manufacturing showed better-than-expected growth in April according to the ISM Manufacturing Index, which jumped from 53.4 in March to 54.8 in April. This trumped the consensus estimate, which called for a drop to 53.

The Chinese government also announced that the country’s manufacturing sector continued to improve for the fifth consecutive month, climbing from 53.1 in March to 53.3 in April.

A reading of 50 or higher is a signal of expansion in both the U.S. and China.

Results were mixed on the earnings front, as BP (NYSE:BP[2]) joined with fellow oil stocks Exxon (NYSE:XOM[3]) and Conoco (NYSE:COP[4]) in a disappointing first quarter. BP finished down 1.6% at $42.70, while XOM and Conoco bucked the trend, with XOM up just under 1% and Conoco climbing 3.5%.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE[5]) also reported disappointing results[6] as first-quarter revenues fell 7% to $15.4 billion from $16.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. Net income dropped 19% to $1.79 billion, or 24 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of $2.22 billion, or 28 cents per share last year.

Cosmetics maker Avon (NYSE:AVP[7]) also struggled, as earnings disappointed analysts[8] and investors alike, causing the stock to plunge 8% to $19.89 on the news.

P.F. Chang’s (NASDAQ:PFCB[9]) climbed 30% as private equity firm Centerbridge Partners entered a deal to take the restaurant chain private[10].

Tomorrow’s earnings release notables include Clorox (NYSE:CLX[11]), Marathon (NYSE:MRO[12]), Visa (NYSE:V[13]), Sunoco (NYSE:SUN[14]), and Allstate (NYSE:ALL[15]).

Three Up

Three Down

Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor of InvestorPlace. He is long XOM as of this writing.

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  2. BP:
  3. XOM:
  4. COP:
  5. PFE:
  6. reported disappointing results:
  7. AVP:
  8. earnings disappointed analysts:
  9. PFCB:
  10. take the restaurant chain private:
  11. CLX:
  12. MRO:
  13. V:
  14. SUN:
  15. ALL:
  16. SHC:
  17. Read more about Sears here:
  18. HUN:
  19. ADM:
  20. DPZ:
  21. NIHD:
  22. ODP:

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