Earnings reports push stocks higher after slide

Market Wrap for November 13th 2009

Stocks rallied on Friday as earnings reports boosted confidence about the economic recovery.  Reports from The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) as well as retailers Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) and J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) offset worries about a disappointing consumer confidence report.

Disney (DIS) said late Thursday that improved revenue at its cable, broadcast and movie studio units helped produce an 18 percent increase in its fiscal fourth-quarter profit.  While Abercrombie's (ANF) results were better than expected, while J.C. Penney raised its profit and sales forecasts.

The gains Friday came on the heels of an early morning sell-off after the preliminary Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for November came in at 66.0, down from 70.6 in October.   However by midday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial average rose 77.08, or 0.8 percent, to 10,274.55, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 6.17, or 0.6 percent, to 1,093.41.  On the technology front the NASDAQ Composite Index rose 11.60, or 0.5 percent, to 2,160.62.

Market breadth was solid with two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 373.3 million shares compared with 394.7 million shares traded at the same point Thursday.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 1.83, or 0.3 percent, to 582.15.