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Wednesday 08th of October 2008
April 26, 2006

Wall Street up despite concerns


by Elaine Frei

Earnings reports trumped fears of further interest rate hikes to send Wall Street higher at midday on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up to 11,352.59, a jump of nearly 70 points, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 2.17 points to 2,332.47 and the S&P 500 gained 4.96 points to 1,306.70. The interest rate concerns came after durable goods orders were up more than had been expected and new home sales increased.

Office Depot added 7 percent to $40.87, a record high, on first quarter sales that were up 3 percent, which put earnings per share at 48 cents, 4 cents per share higher than had been forecast.

Brewer Anheuser-Busch also beat earnings estimates in the quarter, by 8 cents per share to 64 cents per share. In consequence, the brewer gained 4.8 percent on the day to $44.66.

On the down side of the earnings reports, Sprint-Nextel said that it had earnings per share of 36 cents per share in the quarter, 2 cents less than had been expected. The telecommunications company was down 3.2 percent to $24.24.

Elsewhere in the sector, however, American Tower, which leases communications tower space to mobile phone companies, reported sales up 74 percent compared to the same period last year. The report sent its shares up by 5.1 percent to $34.87.

Amazon, the online retailer, dropped 0.4 percent to $35.69. While its sales were up 20 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, investments and shipping costs sent profits down by 34 percent, which was about where analysts predicted it would be.

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