Saturday, January 22, 2011

GE lifts Dow, S&P 500; Nasdaq dips on Google

The Dow and S&P 500 rose on Friday as General Electric Co’s (GE.N) earnings put a positive tone on the earnings season and the economic recovery, setting the market on track to snap a two-day losing skid. But the Nasdaq slipped, pulled lower by Google (GOOG.O) paring early gains and turning negative, as confidence that CEO Larry Page would rejuvenate the No. 1 Internet search company wavered. Late Thursday, Google reported earnings that beat Wall Street’s expectations. Shares of General Electric, considered a bellwether for the economy and corporate
America, rose 7.9 percent to $19.89 and hit their highest intraday level since November 2008. The stock, the top positive in the Dow, also scored its biggest daily percentage jump since March 2009. GE reported stronger-than-expected earnings, helped by the recovery of its finance arm and a rise in revenue at its industrial units, including a sharp pickup in sales of locomotives. “Companies like GE — it’s harder to turn a ship than it is a rowboat — maybe it’s time for these big companies to start outperforming,” said Terry Morris, senior vice president and senior equity manager for National Penn Investors Trust Company in Reading, Pennsylvania. “They’ve been left behind. Maybe they’ve got their ships turned now.” The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) added 62.62 points, or 0.53 percent, to 11,885.42. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX) gained 5.33 points, or 0.42 percent, to 1,285.82. But the Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) shed 5.54 points, or 0.20 percent, to 2,698,75.

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