Wall Street gains 1 percent, lifted by gold, earnings and data

NEW YORK Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:29am IST

1 of 2. Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, April 11, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks jumped more than 1 percent on Tuesday, a day after their worst decline since November, as gold prices rebounded and earnings from Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson improved the outlook for first-quarter results.

Inflation data, which reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep its stimulus plan in place, added to bullish sentiment.

The price of gold jumped 1 percent after its record daily drop in dollar terms on Monday. The SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD.P), which fell 8.8 percent on record volume Monday, rose 1.1 percent to $132.80. The S&P 500 materials index .SPLRCMA climbed 1.9 percent, leading the benchmark S&P 500 higher.

The market's advance followed the S&P 500's drop of more than 2 percent drop on Monday, giving the index its worst one-day percentage loss since November 7. The S&P 500 is up 10.4 percent since the start of the year after enjoying a strong first-quarter run, partly as a result of the Fed's continued stimulus efforts.

"Yesterday I think was a bit out of line ... But I think the trend is that the market is consolidating, that we're going to see a little bit of a pullback here over the next month and a half or so, and then we'll get on to greener pastures," said Brian Amidei, managing director at HighTower Advisors in Palm Desert, California.

Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) stock rose 5.7 percent to $42.37, after rising intraday to $42.48, its highest since 1998,and ranked as the Dow's biggest percentage gainer. The stock's surge followed Coca-Cola's earnings on Tuesday, when the world's largest soft drinker maker reported a higher-than-expected profit and a deal to unload some distribution territory to five independent U.S. bottlers.

The stock of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N), another Dow component, touched a record high of $83.54 after the diversified healthcare company reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings. J&J shares ended up 2.1 percent at $83.44.

S&P 500 earnings are now expected to have risen 1.8 percent in the first quarter, based on actual results from 42 companies and estimates for the rest, up from a recent estimate of 1.1 percent growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI jumped 157.58 points, or 1.08 percent, to close at 14,756.78. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX gained 22.21 points, or 1.43 percent, to finish at 1,574.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC rose 48.14 points, or 1.50 percent, to end at 3,264.63.

Of the 30 Dow components, only two ended the day lower.

International Business Machines (IBM.N) shares rose 1.3 percent to end at $212, their session high, and bolstered the Dow two days before IBM's quarterly earnings. IBM is set to release results on Thursday after the close.

Shares of the Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) climbed 3.2 percent to $60.75 and helped lift the Dow.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average .DJT, often an indicator of investors' perception of the economy, gained 2.2 percent. Shares of United Parcel Service (UPS.N) rose 1 percent to $83.22, while the stock of FedEx Corp (FDX.N) gained 0.5 percent to end at $95.14.

After the bell, shares of Yahoo (YHOO.O) lost 3.5 percent to $22.95 following the release of its results, while shares of Intel (INTC.O) inched up just 0.1 percent to $21.94 after its earnings. During the regular session, Yahoo slid 0.8 percent to $23.79, while Intel rose 2.5 percent to $21.92.

On Monday, a drop in the price of gold and other commodities triggered a sharp selloff in stocks. But stocks fell further late in the session after news of two fatal explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

The S&P 500's slide on Monday took the index back to a range it had held for about a month. Yet the index closed on Tuesday above its 14-day moving average.

In Tuesday's session, U.S.-listed shares of Randgold Resources (RRS.L)(GOLD.O) gained 1.9 percent to $70.33.

Analysts' positive views on basic materials companies also helped the sector.

International Paper (IP.N), up 4.7 percent at $47.47, and Vulcan Materials (VMC.N), up 6.8 percent at $48.69, were among the materials sector's top performers after analysts' bullish notes.

Further supporting stocks, data showed the U.S. Consumer Price Index fell in March for the first time in four months, giving the Federal Reserve room to maintain its monetary stimulus to speed up economic growth.

A separate report showed U.S. housing starts rose 7.0 percent last month to an annual rate of 1.04 million units, the highest in nearly five years.

An index of housing stocks .HGX jumped 2.6 percent.

Among other earnings, Goldman Sachs (GS.N) reported higher quarterly profit but said revenue from client trading fell 10 percent, raising questions about the health of its biggest money maker. Goldman's shares fell 1.6 percent to $144.10.

In the retail sector, shares of Target (TGT.N) dipped 0.2 percent to $68.38 after the discount chain warned that earnings for the first quarter would miss its expectations.

On the flip side, shares of struggling retailer J.C. Penney (JCP.N) jumped 5.6 percent to $15.19. On Monday, the company said it has borrowed $850 million from its revolving credit facility to help buy inventory.

Volume was roughly 6.4 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, compared with the average daily closing volume of about 6.36 billion this year.

Advancers outpaced decliners by a ratio of about 4 to 1 on both the NYSE and the Nasdaq.

(Editing by Kenneth Barry, Nick Zieminski and Jan Paschal)

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