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Stocks gain on earnings

Apr. 24, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- Companies that do well when the economy is improving led the market higher Tuesday after several of them notched strong earnings.

Coach, a maker of luxury handbags, and Netflix, which streams TV shows and movies over the Internet, were big winners after reporting profits that impressed investors. Financial stocks rose after Travelers' earnings beat analysts' expectations.

That's a change from earlier this year. The stock market's surge in 2013 has been led by so-called defensive industries such as health care, consumer staples and utilities. Investors buy those stocks when they want reliable earnings and regular dividends. Until now, they have been unsure about the strength of the economic recovery and been less enthusiastic about stocks whose fortunes are more closely tied to swings in the U.S. economy.

"For a change we are actually seeing more cyclical parts of the economy lead the market," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial Group.

The Dow closed up 152.29 points at 14,719.46. The S&P 500 ended 16.28 points higher at 1,578.78. Both indexes are about 1 percent below their record high closes from nearly two weeks ago.

The Nasdaq composite rose 35.78 points, or 1 percent, to 3,269.33.

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