* Johnson & Johnson, UnitedHealth Group raise profit views
* Goldman posts stronger-than-expected profit, ups dividend
* Citigroup CEO Pandit unexpectedly resigns
* Indexes up: Dow 0.5 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Oct 16 U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as
stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings from such bellwethers
as Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson alleviated concerns about
the slowing global economy.
Dow components Johnson & Johnson and UnitedHealth
Group, both raised their full-year profit views while
Goldman Sachs boosted its dividend.
J&J, the diversified healthcare company, rose 0.7 percent to
$69.11 while UnitedHealth, the largest health insurer, fell 0.4
percent to $57.24 after rallying in premarket trading.
Goldman shares slipped 0.5 percent to $123.63 after posting
earnings that beat expectations and revenue that more than
"Not only have the Dow components done very well today, but
Goldman is extremely positive," said Adam Sarhan, chief
executive officer at Sarhan Capital in New York. "That a
financial is able to have results like that in this kind of
low-growth environment bodes well for the economy as a whole."
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 59.80 points,
or 0.45 percent, at 13,484.03. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 6.30 points, or 0.44 percent, at 1,446.43. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 9.94 points, or 0.32
percent, at 3,074.12.
Coca-Cola Co also reported a rise in earnings, but
quarterly revenue came in short of Wall Street expectations,
hurt by declines in Europe and Asia. Its shares fell 1 percent
Citigroup unexpectedly announced that Chief Executive
Vikram Pandit had resigned effective immediately, along with
Chief Operating Officer John Havens. Michael Corbat, previously
chief executive for Europe, Middle East and Africa, was named to
The announcement came one day after a surprisingly strong
quarterly earnings report. Citi's shares rose 1 percent to
"Pandit is leaving at the top of the game and leaving the
company in great hands, but the timing of the move is shocking,"
Sarhan said. "Why they didn't announce it with the earnings is a
question that needs to be answered."
The quarterly earnings season thus far has been mixed, with
some early pessimistic results giving the S&P 500 its worst week
since June last week. However, Citigroup's results helped spark
a rally on Monday.
Profits of S&P 500 companies are seen dropping 2.5 percent
from the year-ago period, according to Thomson Reuters data.
With about 8 percent of S&P companies having reported, 61
percent have topped profit expectations, under the average beat
rate of 67 percent for the past four quarters.
Intel and IBM report after the market
closes and are among the first major earnings reports of the
tech sector, which has been marked by a number of profit
warnings, including from Intel. IBM shares rose 0.4 percent to
$209.91 while Intel rose 3 percent to $22.38.
U.S. consumer prices rose 0.6 percent in September as the
cost of gasoline surged, while industrial output was up 0.4
percent in September. Wall Street was little influenced by the
While earnings have been the primary driver for equities in
recent sessions, overshadowing some strong economic indicators,
investors will keep an eye on the meeting of European leaders
later this week. European shares rose 0.9 percent on
growing hopes the meeting would advance plans to tackle debt
problems in Spain and Greece.