Key Takeaways

  • U.S. stock markets posted gains on Jan. 31, led by an uptick of nearly 1.7% for the Nasdaq that helped the tech-heavy index close out its best January since 2001.
  • The S&P 500 and the Dow also moved higher during Tuesday’s session, posting gains of around 1.5% and 1.1%, respectively.
  • Positive financial reports contributed to the advance, with companies that exceeded expectations among the top-performing stocks on the S&P 500.

U.S. equities finished off a winning January in the green, as solid corporate earnings news, along with reports pointing to slowing wage inflation and rising gross domestic product (GDP), boosted optimism. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all gained more than 1%.

It was a powerful opening month of the year for the markets, with the Nasdaq soaring 10.7% to notch its best January since 2001. The Dow and S&P 500 added 2.8% and 6.2%, respectively. For the S&P 500, it was the best January since 2019.

The day’s advance was driven by positive financial reports. A.O. Smith Corporation (AOS), International Paper (IP), PulteGroup (PHM), and Pentair PLC (PNR) were the best-performing stocks in the S&P 500 after all four posted better-than-expected results. They were followed by General Motors (GM), which also exceeded estimates and gave an upbeat 2023 forecast. Exxon Mobil (XOM) shattered its all-time annual profit record, and shares climbed.

An earnings beat lifted shares of United Parcel Service (UPS), and shares of rival FedEx (FDX) were also up. Spotify Technology (SPOT) shares jumped 12% after the digital music service posted a solid gain in monthly active users (MAU). Tesla (TSLA) shares returned to the win column after the previous day’s declines, recording their seventh up day in the past eight. Shares of Home Depot (HD) added 3%, leading the Dow higher.

McDonald’s Inflation Warning

Caterpillar (CAT) shares sank after the construction equipment maker’s profit fell short of forecasts. Phillips 66 (PSX) also had an earnings miss, and its shares tumbled. McDonald’s (MCD) warned about continuing inflationary pressures, sending its shares lower.

Oil futures added 1.5%. Gold prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped. The U.S. dollar fell against the euro and yen, but it was higher versus the pound. Major cryptocurrencies traded higher.


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