Stocks Finish Mostly Up on Earnings

U.S. stocks finished mostly up on  Tuesday with pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc.’s (NYSE:PFE) better-than-expected earnings helping lift the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its highest finish since October 2007. The Dow industrials rose 72.49 points, or 0.52%, to 13,954.42. The S&P 500 index added 7.66 points, or 0.51%, to 1,507.84. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 0.64 point to 3,153.66.

Drugmaker Pfizer Inc.’s fourth-quarter results easily beat Wall Street expectations,  as profit more than quadrupled, due to tighter spending and a $4.8 billion gain from selling its nutrition business.  Its net income was $6.32 billion, or 85 cents per share, up from $1.44 billion, or 19 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 7 percent to $15.1 billion, mainly due to generic competition to cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor. Analysts expected $14.35 billion.

Amazon.com Inc shares jumped almost 7 percent on Tuesday after the world’s largest Internet retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly profit. Operating income jumped 56 percent to $405 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $260 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. fourth-quarter revenue jumped 22 percent to $21.27 billion.

Hiring by employers likely held steady in January. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to have risen 160,000, a marginal step up from December’s 155,000 job gain, according to a Reuters survey of economists. The unemployment rate is seen holding steady at 7.8 percent.

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