Stocks Started Up On Earnings

U.S. stocks started higher on Wednesday, with investors cheered by upbeat quarterly results from companies including Boeing Co., Ford Motor Co. and Apple IncThe Dow Jones industrial average rose 29.1 points or 0.19 percent, to 15,596.84, the S&P 500 gained 5.4 points or 0.32 percent, to 1,697.79 and the Nasdaq Composite added 25.89 points or 0.72 percent, to 3,605.16.

Boeing Co (NYS:BA) posted a better-than-expected 13 percent jump in quarterly profit after delivering more commercial jets. The company also raised its full-year revenue forecast, thanks to $40 billion (26 billion pounds) in new orders and the launch of the Dreamliner 787-10.The company said it now expects full-year revenue of $83 billion to $86 billion, up from its previous guidance of $82 billion to $85 billion. It forecast full-year earnings of $5.10 to $5.30 per share, up from its previous estimate of $5.00 to $5.20.

Ford Motor Co. reported better-than-expected second quarter earnings and raised its profit and sales forecasts for the year as strong U.S. pickup truck demand and growing sales in China offset persistent — but narrowing — losses in Europe. Ford earned $1.2 billion in the April-June period, propelled by a $2.3 billion profit in North America.

Sales of Apple Inc’s iPhone trumped Wall Street estimates after U.S. shipments soared 51 percent in the third quarter.The company sold 31.2 million iPhones last quarter – far more than the estimated 26 million – and 14.6 million iPads. Its profit fell 22 percent as gross margins slid below 37 percent from more than 42 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT) reported a lower quarterly profit on Wednesday and cut its outlook for the year, saying its independent dealers were focused on reducing machine inventories. The company reported second-quarter earnings of $960 million, or $1.45 a share, down from $1.70 billion, or $2.54 a share, a year earlier.

WellPoint Inc (WLP) reported a much higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by lower-than-forecast medical costs in its employer-based insurance business and improvements in Medicaid operations after the purchase of Amerigroup in December. The second-largest U.S. insurer also raised its full-year earnings forecast to at least $8 per share, up from the $7.75 it had affirmed in June.

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