Sixteen S&P 500 companies posted quarterly earnings today. Of the 270 that have released results so far this reporting season, 74% have exceeded analysts’ predictions, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Analysts are turning more bullish on corporate earnings. Profit at S&P 500 companies gained 1.1% in the first three months of the year, according to analysts’ projections compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with last week’s projection for a decline of 1.1%.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX, fell 0.8% to 13.51. The CBOE opened for trading three-and-a-half hours late yesterday after a problem with its computer systems shut the derivatives market. The equity volatility gauge is down 25% for the year.
Technology stocks erased an earlier decline of as much as 0.4%. Hewlett-Packard Co. rallied the most in the Dow, adding 2.5% to $20.07. Apple Inc. added 2.3% to $417.84.
J.C. Penney surged 14% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 to $17.34. Soros Fund Management LLC’s stake is equal to 7.9% of J.C. Penney, according to a filing yesterday. The investment makes the billionaire the fourth-largest shareholder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Energy stocks rebounded as Chevron Corp. gained 1.5% to $120.32. The world’s third-biggest energy company by market value reported first-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates after boosting natural gas output amid rising prices for the fuel.
The S&P Supercomposite Homebuilding Index rose for the sixth straight day, adding 3.2%. The measure of 11 homebuilders is at the highest level since March 21.
D.R. Horton Inc. increased 8.7% to $26.66, the highest since February 2007. The largest U.S. homebuilder by volume said its fiscal second-quarter profit more than doubled as demand for new houses climbed in a recovering market.
Raw-materials producers fell the most out of 10 S&P 500 groups, losing 1.2%. Alcoa Inc. slumped 0.8% to $8.32. The largest aluminum producer in the U.S. had its credit rating outlook revised to negative by S&P Ratings Service after a slump in the price of the metal. DuPont Co. erased 0.5% to $53.02.
Amazon dropped 6.5% to $256.82 as the world’s largest online retailer forecast a range between an operating loss of $340 million and a profit of $10 million for the second quarter. Analysts on average project a profit of $165.1 million. The maker of Kindle tablets said late yesterday first-quarter net income fell 37% to $82 million, or 18 cents a share.
Starbucks slid 0.5% to $60.19 as the world’s biggest coffee-shop operator posted fiscal second-quarter revenue of $3.56 billion, missing the $3.58 billion median estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey.
“Europe continues to be just a challenging place for us -- it’s a very, very difficult macro environment there,” said Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead.
Expedia declined 9.5% to $58.77 as Chief Financial Officer Mark Okerstrom lowered his 2013 forecast for so-called organic earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by $20 million to $30 million, citing increased competition facing its Hotwire discount-travel website.
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