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Strong earnings lift investor spirits after Trump slump

U.S. stocks were higher yesterday as a set of strong corporate earnings lifted investor spirits in a week dominated by uncertainty surrounding Donald Trump’s presidency.…

U.S. stocks were higher yesterday as a set of strong corporate earnings lifted investor spirits in a week dominated by uncertainty surrounding Donald Trump’s presidency.

However, Wall Street’s major indexes were on track for their worst weekly declines since mid-April following reports that Trump had tried to interfere in a federal investigation.

Investors were concerned that the uncertainty in Washington could hinder Trump’s promise of fiscal stimulus, a bet on which Wall Street has rallied to record highs.

Strong quarterly earnings from companies, including Autodesk (ADSK.O) and Deere & Co (DE.N), boosted the market. Autodesk was among the biggest percentage gainers on the S&P and the Nasdaq after the software maker reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue.

Deere hit an all-time high of $122.24 after the farm and construction equipment maker reported a quarterly profit that beat expectations.

The news lifted Caterpillar’s (CAT.N) shares by 2 percent, making it the top stock on the Dow.

“We think the Trump trade and the reflation trade have unwound almost entirely post election, and the market is relying on recovery in earnings and strong fundamentals,” said Matt Jones, U.S. head of equity strategy, J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Of the 452 S&P 500 companies that have released results so far, about 75 percent have topped earnings expectations. In a typical quarter, about 64 percent beat estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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