Stock Market News for Jan 24, 2011

Strong upbeat earnings results of General Electric (NYSE:GE) helped industrial stocks rise and markets rose modestly, ignoring disappointing earnings reports of other companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4% to end at 11,871.84. The S&P 500 was up 0.20%, or 3.09 points, to close at 1,283.35. However, the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.50% to 2,698.54. . On the New York Stock Exchange, breadth of the market was on the positive side as for every 1,549 stocks that rose, 1,424 stocks ended in the red and volumes were on the lighter side with only 7.96 billion shares traded.

Coming to the economic front, there were no releases on Friday that could have a significant impact on the market. The major economic releases that are lined up for release in the next week include several housing releases, a statement from the Federal Reserve’s policy setting meeting, new home sales data and the S&P Case Shiller Home Price Index report.

Coming to international news, the euro has significantly strengthened after Germany’s business sentiment indicator rose to a twenty year high in January, gaining strength from the manufacturing sector that has fully recovered from the financial crisis pushing up the price of the euro versus the dollar. European markets also gained strength from rebounding prices of metals and shares of Spanish Bank rose.

Coming to earnings news, shares of General Electric (NYSE:GE) sprung 7.1% after the company’s better-than-expected fourth quarter profit rocketed up 51-52% and revenues surpassed Wall Street’s estimates. CEO of the company, Jeff Immelt will be named head of a new advisory panel by President Barrack Obama and will be entrusted with responsibilities of economic growth. Shares of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) decreased 2% to fall to $14.25, after reporting a fourth quarter net loss of $1.2 billion arising of from pre-announced settlement charges and problems related to mortgages. The loss also includes previously reported goodwill impairment charges worth $2 billion. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) also reported fourth quarter earnings results which topped estimates, but shares of the company fell 2.4% after the company announced a management reshuffle. Co-founder Larry Page will be the new chief executive, whereas Eric Schmidt will assume the role of new chairman of the company. Technology sector was weak after Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NYSE:AMD) reported earnings results, which were mostly flat and failed to name a new chief executive. The shares of the semiconductor company fell 6% to close at $7.53.

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