Stocks Edge Higher on Mixed Bag of Corporate Earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged slightly higher in early trading Thursday on Wall Street while investors assessed a mix of corporate earnings.

Solid earnings results from several insurance companies helped lift financial stocks. MetLife and Allstate both posted gains. Technology stocks were also rising, pushed by solid earnings from chipmaker Qualcomm.

Energy stocks and consumer staples lagged the market.

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Engineering company Fluor plunged after reporting a huge loss, which weighed on the industrial sector. Online games maker Zynga surged after raising its revenue forecast for the year.

Earnings reporting season is more than a third of the way through and the results have been better than investors had expected. Analysts had been predicting a severe profit slump and their worst fears have not materialized.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.2% as of 10:15 a.m. the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1%, or 20 points, to 26,450. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.5%.

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RECHARGING THE BATTERY: Tesla is trying to raise some cash after taking a heavy loss in the first quarter, and investors seem to approve.

The stock rose 2.7% after the electric car maker said it would seek to raise more than $2 billion in a stock and debt offering. Tesla reported a shrinking balance sheet and falling sales during the first quarter and CEO Elon Musk had suggested it might need to raise more money.

NO SWEAT: Sports apparel company Under Armour gained 6.4% after it reported a first quarter earnings results that beat Wall Street forecasts. The company reported a solid revenue increase fueled by international sales that helped swing it to a profit. It raised its profit forecast for the year.

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FLUOR FLOORED: Engineering and construction company Fluor plunged 24% after it issued an earnings forecast that was far below what analysts were expecting. It also reported a huge loss for the quarter, while investors were expecting a profit. They also reported revenue that came in well below forecasts.

 

By AP reporter Damian J. Troise

 

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