Strong earnings drive stocks higher on Wall Street

11:19 am | April 23, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Strong earnings across a range of U.S. industries are driving the stock market higher in early trading Tuesday.

Makers of handbags, jet planes and chemical products all turned in good results for the first quarter, reviving investors’ confidence after a sharp downturn in the stock market last week.

The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index both rose nearly 1 percent in morning trading, putting them on track for a third straight day of gains.

The upturn put both indexes back in the black for April and closer to the record high closes they reached on April 11. It was a sharp change of tone from last week, when the market had its worst drop since November.

Coach, Lockheed Martin, DuPont and Travelers were among the winners after they reported results that were better than analysts expected.

Coach, a maker of luxury handbags and other accessories, soared 11 percent to $55.95. Lockheed rose 2 percent to $97.94. DuPont and Travelers each rose 3 percent, to $51.88 and $86.88.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 138 points at 14,705 after the first hour of trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 14 points at 1,577. Both indexes are 1 percent below their record high closes from nearly two weeks ago.

The Nasdaq composite rose 34 points to 3,267.

Apple, the biggest component in the index, reports earnings after the market closes. Apple has lost 24 percent of its value this year. Investor worry that demand for the iPhone is waning as competitors like Samsung sell more smartphones.

Netflix soared 22 percent to $213 after reporting a big gain in subscribers in the first quarter.

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