Solid earnings reports push US stock indexes broadly higher

Stocks moved higher in early trading on Wall Street Thursday as investors focused on several solid earnings reports after a late bout of selling the day before.

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Investors are nearing the end of a busy week that included Wednesday’s widely anticipated quarter-point cut to the Federal Reserve’s key interest rate. The market reacted with disappointment over the central bank’s caution over future rate cuts. Major indexes are now headed for weekly losses.

The steady flow of corporate earnings continued and several big-name companies reported surprisingly good results. The latest round of reports has been better than Wall Street initially expected just a month ago.

Technology stocks led the early gains. Microsoft rose 1.8% and Apple rose 1.2%. Verizon rose 1.4% and helped lift communications stocks.

Consumer product makers rose broadly following a solid earnings report from cereal maker Kellogg. Surprisingly good results from General Motors and Yum Brands sent consumer-oriented stocks higher.

Concho Resources plunged 21% after releasing a disappointing quarterly report. A 2.5% drop in oil prices also helped push the broader energy sector lower. Financial and industrial stocks also fell.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.99%.

Investors still have some key financial reports to look out for this week. Oil companies Exxon and Chevron will report results on Friday. The government will also release its employment report for July on Friday.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.5% as of 10:16 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 124 points, or 0.5%, to 26,986. The Nasdaq composite rose 1%. Overseas, European markets were mixed and Asian indexes closed broadly lower.

CHIPPED CHINA: Qualcomm fell 3.1% after the chipmaker gave investors a surprisingly weak profit and revenue forecast because of problems in China. A ban on exports to China’s Huawei, which is part of the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, is hanging over the company. Meanwhile, demand is lower in China as the company’s customers temper new phone launches for the remainder of 2019 and focus on the launch of faster 5G phone technology next year.

SWEET AND SAVORY: Kellogg rose 9.7% after the maker of breakfast cereal and other food products beat Wall Street’s second quarter profit forecasts. The company reported growth in its key North America market on sales of Pringles, Pop Tarts and Eggo waffles.

LOADED TACOS: Yum Brands rose 5.1% after the company reported surprisingly good second quarter profit on sales gains for its KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants. Sales at existing locations for each restaurant rose more than Wall Street had forecast.

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