- Dow Jones, S&P 500 advance on Tuesday.
- Quarterly earnings for S&P 500 companies are on pace to fall 1.8% YoY vs. expectations for a 4.6% drop.
- Investors turn their attention to Federal Reserve press conference on Wednesday.
US stocks advanced on Tuesday, as a string of positive quarterly earnings boosted sentiment on Wall Street ahead of the Federal Reserve’s key interest rate statement.
All of the major benchmark indices were trading positively in midday trade. The Dow Jones industrial Average (DJI) gaining 0.4 percent to close at 18,110.14.
The S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent to close at 2,114.76 on stronger than forecast quarterly earnings. More than 8 percent of the S&P 500 Index, or 41 companies, reported earnings on Tuesday. Quarterly earnings for S&P 500 companies are on pace to fall 1.8 percent over year-ago levels, well below expectations calling for a 4.6 percent drop. A total of 233 S&P 500 companies have reported earnings so far, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The NASDAQ Composite, which was hit hard by continued declines in the biotechnology sector, climbed in midday trading before paring its gains, closing at 5,055.42 (-0.1 percent). The NASDAQ climbed to a record close on Friday, fueled by strong corporate earnings in the technology sector.
The price of oil wavered on Tuesday and was little changed in the afternoon session. Brent crude for June delivery consolidated at $64.63 a barrel at 17:55 ET. The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood little changed at $57.06 a barrel.
Oil prices had rallied earlier in the day after reports from Saudi Arabia said that a US cargo ship was intercepted by Iran as it made its way through the Strait of Hormuz. No American citizens were on board the ship.
The Fed kicked off its two-day meetings in Washington on Tuesday. Policymakers are likely reviewing first quarter GDP figures, which are scheduled for release on Wednesday. Weak economic data will keep the central bank on the sidelines for the time being. Further downside risks to the recovery could raise expectations for continued monetary easing through the summer. Investors will be closely monitoring Wednesday’s press release for hints about future policy.