New York markets up on Bernanke comments

| July 19, 2006 | 0 Comments

The New York equities markets were up at midday on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made comments to a Congressional committee that led analysts to believe that the string of interest rate hikes by the Fed might soon be over. Also encouraging investors were new, positive earnings reports. They seemed not to pay much attention to data indicating that inflation is strong.

At mid-session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq Composite, and the S&P 500 were each 1.4 percent higher, to 10,948.51, 1,071.09, and 1,254.23 respectively.

Not included in the strong quarterly earnings reports was Yahoo, which dropped 21 percent to $25.62 on its report that earnings were down 78 percent in the second quarter. The drop in earnings had been expected, but investors were unhappy that a new advertising platform’s introduction had been put off.

Financial sectors did will, however. JPMorgan Chase was up 5.3 percent to $42.87 on higher expected profits in the second quarter, while Bank of New York gained 6.5 percent to $33.91 after it reported second quarter earnings were up by 13 percent.

Among discount brokers, Ameritrade added 5.2 percent to $15.46 and E*trade was up 5.3 percent to $21.95.

Homebuilders saw gains after Mr. Bernanke’s testimony raised the possibility that interest rates might not go too much higher. Lennar added 3.6 percent to $41.96, while Pulte gained 3.8 percent to $28.08.

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