North American stocks rose at the start of trading on Wednesday, lifting by a round of strong U.S. earnings – even as the global picture darkened somewhat, with the U.K. economy slipping into recession in the first quarter.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 79 points or 0.6 per cent, to 13,081. The broader S&P 500 rose 16 points or 1.2 per cent, to 1,388. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 61 points or 0.5 per cent.
Apple Inc. shook off a recent losing streak – when it fell for 10 of the past 11 sessions – rising 9.3 per cent after reporting strong earnings and iPhone sales when it released its quarterly results on Tuesday evening. But the company wasn’t alone in topping expectations: Boeing Co. rose 3.8 per cent after the aerospace company reported earnings of $1.22 (U.S.) a share, up from 78 cents last year. Boeing also raised its forecast.
Meanwhile, DuPont and Alcoa Inc. rose 1.5 per cent each.
The U.S. economic picture wasn’t upbeat, though: U.S. durable goods orders for March fell 4.2 per cent, which was much worse than economists’ expectations for a 1.7 per cent retreat.
In Canada, fertilizer producers were strong after Mosaic Co. said that it has seen a “rapid acceleration” in demand for its products and said that sales volume would be at the high end of a previous forecast. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. rose 3.4 per cent and Agrium Inc. rose 2.9 per cent.
However, Rogers Communications Inc. fell 4.5 per cent after reporting disappointing sales and earnings on Tuesday.