[WASHINGTON] US stocks opened higher on Wednesday as investors cheered strong third-quarter results by industry heavyweights Boeing and General Motors.
At 9:40 am ET (1340 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 34.25 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 17,251.36, the S&P 500 was up 2.75 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 2,033.52 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 6.29 points, or 0.13 per cent, at 4,887.26.
Shares of General Motors rose 4 per cent to US$34.84, while Boeing rose 2 per cent to US$141.68, providing the biggest boost to the Dow.
Biogen rose 7.8 per cent to US$286.45 after it said it would cut 11 per cent of its workforce and reported better-than-expected results. The stock gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes. "During the course of the third quarter, we actually saw consensus estimates drop for both revenue and earnings," said Eric Weigand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at US Bank. "You could make the point that there is a low hurdle for companies to exceed on these diminished expectations."
Of the S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far, 40 per cent have exceeded revenue estimates. About 60 per cent typically beat estimates in a quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data.
S&P 500 companies are expected to report a 3.9 per cent decline in third-quarter profit and a 3.8 per cent fall in revenue.