Earnings continue to drive stocks higher, with the S&P 500 clmbing towards a new record high. Bobbi Rebell reports.
The S&P 500 broke above the 21,000 mark Tuesday, one day after the Dow climbed above 18,000. Driving stocks higher: a rally in crude oil prices and earnings results from Goldman Sachs. Earnings forecasts are key to driving the market higher, says John Manley of Wells Fargo Funds Management: (SOUNDBITE) JOHN MANLEY, CHIEF EQUITY STRATEGIST, WELLS FARGO FUNDS MANAGEMENT, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think earnings expectations have to go up. The market has been flat for the last year or so. Earnings expectations have been flat to slightly down for the last year or so. I don't think that's a coincidence." A drop in fixed-income trading helped drive quarterly profit down 56 percent at Goldman Sachs. But the bank's earnings beat analysts' low estimates, driving shares higher. UnitedHealth shares rose after the largest U.S. health insurer said it would largely withdraw from Obamacare's health exchanges. It expects to lose up to $650 million this year on those exchanges. Shares of Johnson & Johnson hit an all-time high. The drug maker's profit fell, but strong prescription drug sales helped net income beat forecasts. Harley-Davidson's shares sputtered after the motorcycle maker said its U.S. market share had slipped and inventory had risen. Signs of cooling in the U.S. housing market. Housing starts and permits for future home construction fell in March. In Europe, commodities stocks lifted shares to three-month highs.