PepsiCo, oil help extend Wall Street rally; S&P at four-month high

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 6, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 at a four-month high, as energy shares got a boost from higher crude prices and strong results from PepsiCo signaled a solid start to the earnings season.

  • FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 6, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
  • PepsiCo’s shares surged 3.9 percent and were poised for their biggest one-day jump in nearly seven years after the company’s quarterly results topped estimates on strong sales of snacks.

    The company also reaffirmed its full-year forecast amid signs of a gradual recovery in its soda business.

    PepsiCo drove a 0.82 percent gain in the consumer staples index, with Coca-Cola rising 1 percent.

    The energy index rose 0.62 percent as crude prices gained on growing supply disruptions in Norway and Libya, but gains were pared after the United States said it would consider requests for waivers from Iranian oil sanctions.

    Shares of Exxon and Chevron were up around 1 percent each.

    “The market is in a very optimistic mood. The economic data is very strong and the labor markets are strong, and companies are making a lot of money,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin.

    Overall, S&P 500 companies are expected to post second-quarter profit growth of around 21 percent, slightly higher than what was forecast in April, according to Thomson Reuters data.

    (GRAPHIC: S&P earnings scorecard –

    However, investors and analysts will parse quarterly reports to gauge the impact of an escalating trade dispute between China and the United States on company earnings.

    “In the end eventually the trade war could impact things but right now the economic data and other things are too strong that they are overshadowing the trade war,” Frederick said.

    Wall Street rose for a fourth straight session. At 12:45 p.m. EDT, the S&P 500 was up 8.24 points, or 0.30 percent, at 2,792.45. The index reached a peak of 2,795.58, its highest since March 13.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 137.75 points, or 0.56 percent, at 24,914.34 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 10.56 points, or 0.14 percent, at 7,766.76.

    Ten of the 11 S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.20 percent gain in the utilities sector. The lone laggard were financials, off 0.39 percent after a 2.3 percent surge on Monday.

    JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup are scheduled to report results on Friday. Their shares fell between 0.3 and 1.3 percent.

    Nordstrom dropped 4.5 percent, the most on the S&P, after the upscale department store operator issued a bleak sales forecast for the rest of 2018.

    Cerner was the second-biggest loser on the S&P, falling 4.3 percent after Evercore ISI downgraded the stock to “underperform”.

    Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.37-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

    The S&P index recorded 28 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 88 new highs and 18 new lows.

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