The stock markets in the United States recorded another gain as investors saw signs that corporate earnings are improving. Analysts are projecting that the earnings of companies listed in the S&P 500 rose 0.7% while revenue increased 2.6% in the first quarter of this year.

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In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, John Fox, director of research at Fenimore Asset Management opined, “The few earnings that we’ve had so far have been coming in pretty well. ll the fundamentals still line up that stock prices can go higher. Interest rates are still low, the economy’s getting better. All of that is still a good environment for equities.”

On the other hand, Patrick Spencer, head of equity sales at Robert W. Baird & Co. suggested that most companies will probably raise guidance in the next quarter due to “pumped up demand and the spring thrall.” Spencer added, “The economy remains in a sweet spot. I’m very optimistic for this year.”

The Conference Board’s gauge of outlook indicated that the strength of the U.S. economy increased 0.8% in March, the highest level over the past four months.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,449.25 (+0.25%)
  • S&P 500- 1,871.89 (+0.38 %)
  • NASDAQ- 4,125.55(+0.64%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,140.85 (+0.26%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,155.81 (+0.53%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,625.25 (+0.62%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,409.71 (+0.99%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,512.38 (-0.03%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,760.24 (+0.28%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,187.25 (-1.67%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) climbed more than 13% to $4.16 per share after reporting better-than expected quarter financial results. The company said its revenue rose 28% to $1.4 billion year-over year and $20 million net loss or $0.03 loss per share. Excluding one-time items, the company’s profit was $12 million or $0.02 earnings share compared with the consensus expectation of flat earnings for the first quarter.

The shares of Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) gained 3.33% to $62.92 per share after the largest fracking service provider said its profit is expected to increase 25% in the second quarter.  The company reported first quarter profit of $662 million or $0.73 earnings per share on $7.35 billion revenue for the first quarter compared with the consensus estimate of $0.72 earnings per share on $7.26 billion revenue.

Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT) gained more than 39% to $33.98 per share after the biotechnology company revealed that it will file a new drug application to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy this year.