Stocks Opened Higher, Dupont’s Profit Doubled

U. S. stocks started higher on Tuesday, with Wall Street looking for a third straight day of gains as strong  earnings improved sentiment. The Dow Jones industrial average lately  was up 120.21 points, or 0.83 percent,  at 14,687.38. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 12.62 points, or 0.81 percent, at 1,575.12. The Nasdaq  Composite Index was up 28.76 points, or 0.89 percent, at 3,262.31.

Chemicals maker DuPont’s  (DD) quarterly profit more than doubled as the worst dry spell in decades encouraged U.S.  farmers to buy its drought-hardy seeds and crop-protection products to boost yields. The company’s net income  for the quarter, which included the beginning of the North American spring planting season, jumped to $3.35
billion, or $3.58 per share, in the first quarter, from $1.49 billion, or $1.58 per share, a year earlier. Fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations dipped to $1.47 from $1.48, a year earlier.

Coach Inc. (COH) shares jumped 12% in premarket trading after it reported a better-than-expected  fiscal third-quarter profit and North American same-store sales turned positive. The company also raised its  cash dividend by 15 cents a share annually.

Travelers Cos.’s (TRV) boosted its dividend Tuesday as the property-casualty company’s first-quarter results  beat Wall Street expectations, helped by fewer natural disasters and its ongoing effort to raise prices. Net  income of $896 million, or $2.33 a share, rose 11% from $806 million, or $2.02 a share, in last year’s first  quarter.

The price of oil slipped below $89 a barrel Tuesday after a slowdown in China’s manufacturing reinforced  concerns over the level of demand in the global economy. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for June  delivery was down 73 cents to $88.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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