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Archive for Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Stocks soar on earnings news

GM, Texas Instruments shares rise on better-than-expected reports

April 17, 2002

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— Wall Street got the dose of good news it's been longing for Tuesday: better-than-expected earnings, and from two big companies, General Motors and Texas Instruments. Stocks surged the Dow industrials up more than 200 points and the Nasdaq composite index up better than 3 percent as investors' faith was renewed in an economic turnaround.

"The market is reflecting a better feeling about tech stocks and also is benefiting from strength in GM," said Alan Ackerman, executive vice president of Fahnestock & Co., although he warned that the market's enthusiasm likely won't last as more companies report first-quarter results, some of which are bound to disappoint investors.

"The market is prone to almost unpredictable swings from day to day," Ackerman said.

But results from Dow industrial Intel, released after the close of regular trading Tuesday, were likely to extend Wall Street's upbeat mood. Intel met analyst expectations and its stock rose in after-hours trading.

GM, the strongest Dow industrial Tuesday, rose $2.95 to $64.05 after reporting first-quarter profits of $1.39 a share, 25 cents higher than analysts had forecast. GM also raised its full-year earnings estimate, a sign that GM believes consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the economy, will continue to strengthen.

Texas Instruments climbed $1.66 to $33.79, having reported earnings late Monday of a penny a share, beating Wall Street's break-even estimates. The firm also said orders rose and that it has turned the corner in the semiconductor slump.

Intel rose $1.40 to $29.51 on Texas Instruments' good news and ahead of its own earnings released at the end of the day.

Later when Intel reported that first-quarter profits that met analysts' expectations, the chip maker rose $1.49 in the extended trading session.

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