US stocks trade mixed amid strong earnings and healthy Chinese manufacturing data

Australian dollars in Sydney, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

Thomson Reuters

  • US stocks fluctuated on Tuesday as investors mulled corporate earnings and encouraging economic data out of China.
  • Zoom Technologies leaped alongside other work-from-home stocks after trouncing Wall Street’s second-quarter estimates and raising its forward guidance.
  • A private gauge of small Chinese manufacturers gained in August to its highest level since January 2011, signaling continued strength in the country’s economic recovery.
  • Oil gained amid new weakness in the US dollar. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed as much as 1.5%, to $43.23 per barrel.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities traded mixed on Tuesday amid a rally in work-from-home stocks and positive manufacturing data out of China.

Zoom surged after reporting second-quarter earnings on Monday afternoon that handily beat Wall Street’s estimates. The company’s revenue more than quadrupled from the year-ago period, and earnings for the quarter were more than double what analysts expected. Zoom also boosted its forward guidance.

Other work-from-home stocks including Slack, Okta, and DocuSign gained following the earnings beat.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday:

  • S&P 500: 3,503.49, up 0.1%
  • Dow Jones industrial average: 28,405.49, down 0.1% (25 points)
  • Nasdaq composite: 11,841.52, up 0.6%

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Chinese manufacturing indicators offered investors an optimistic look at economic recoveries abroad. The Caixin China purchasing manufacturers index — which primarily tracks small manufacturers — gained to 53.1 in August from 52.8, Caixin and Markit said Tuesday. The reading is the gauge’s highest since January 2011 and indicates strong expansion in the once-beleaguered industry.

Apple continued to rally after its stock split went into effect on Monday. Tesla gained post-split as well, though the automaker slid on Tuesday after announcing it will sell up to $5 billion in new stock.

Walmart gained after announcing its Amazon Prime competitor, Walmart+, will launch in mid-September.

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Tuesday’s gains follow the S&P 500 notching its best August since 1986. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite posted numerous record highs through the end of the month on surging tech giants, while the Dow erased its 2020 losses. Stocks leaped through the month on promising consumer spending trends and a new monetary policy framework from the Federal Reserve that aims to boost employment and stabilize inflation.

Spot gold approached the $2,000-per-ounce threshold after falling below it in mid-August. The precious metal has swung higher in recent sessions as the US dollar returns to two-year lows and investors digest the Fed’s new inflation strategy. 

Oil gained amid the falling US dollar. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed as much as 1.5%, to $43.23 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international standard, rose 1.4%, to $45.93, at intraday highs.

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