Stocks finished higher Tuesday as the unofficial start to earnings season kicked off with better than expected corporate results. The Dow rose 237 points, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.2%. The S&P 500 added 1.0%, while also finishing less than one percent from an all-time high. Nine of 11 S&P 500 sectors ended the day in positive territory with Financials and Health Care stocks leading the way.
JPMorgan rallied 4.1% to an all-time high after posting its seventh-straight quarter of rising profits. Citigroup’s quarterly report also exceeded Wall Street expectations, with shares rising 1.7% on the session. Goldman Sachs ticked up 0.2% despite a 26% year-over-year drop in earnings. Elsewhere in Financials, Charles Schwab advanced 5.4% after reporting record client assets on the heels of the discount broker’s move to charge zero commissions. In the Health Care space, Johnson and Johnson climbed nearly 2% following its top and bottom line beat. UnitedHealth Group finished 8.3% higher, recording its best daily gain in three years after besting profit and revenue projections, as well as raising its full-year guidance amid steadying medical costs. NVIDIA jumped 5.3% to a 11-month high after receiving a price target boost.
In geopolitical news, reports indicated Beijing would have a difficult time purchasing the $50 billion of U.S. agricultural products cited in Friday’s outline of an initial trade agreement unless retaliatory tariffs are removed. The U.K. and European Union are finding middle ground amid optimistic reports of a draft for a Brexit deal. Treasuries declined with the yield on the 10-year note up four basis points to 1.77%.