Good news gets a ho-hum

The Associated PressJuly 15, 2009 

— Investors got the results they wanted from Goldman Sachs, but the market's response was just a modest pop.

Mixed economic data Tuesday reminded investors of the challenges businesses still face and left the market zigzagging all day. Stocks gained on a handful of strong earnings, while Treasuries tumbled on a jump in inflation.

Investors were pleased that Goldman Sachs' second-quarter earnings easily surpassed analysts' forecasts because of big gains in trading and underwriting. But Goldman's actual results had little impact as investors' focus quickly turned to the rest of the financial industry.

"Here we have a best-in-class sort of company reporting outstanding results," said Craig Peckham, an analyst with Jefferies & Co. "The earnings reports we get in the financial sector from here on out quite honestly are coming from companies that just don't have the same kind of cachet."

Goldman rose 22 cents to $149.66.

The Dow rose 27.81, or 0.3 percent, to 8,359.49. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 4.79, or 0.5 percent, to 905.84, while the Nasdaq rose 6.52, or 0.4 percent, to 1,799.73.

Johnson & Johnson gained 51 cents to $58.23 after its report.

Dell warned that quarterly gross margins will fall below first-quarter levels due to higher component costs and pressure to keep prices low. The stock fell $1.05, or 8.1 percent, to $11.97. Railroad operator CSX said it expects shipping demand to sink by double-digits again this quarter but not as drastically as the 21 percent decline in the second quarter. The stock jumped $2.26, or 7 percent, to $34.80.

The dollar fell against other major currencies, while gold prices rose. Oil slipped 17 cents to settle at $59.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average gained 2.3 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.9 percent, Germany's DAX index rose 1.3 percent, and France's CAC-40 gained 1.0 percent.

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