RealTime IT News

GE Earnings, SAP Forecast Boost Stocks

Strong second-quarter results from General Electric and an upgraded forecast from software giant SAP helped keep stocks in the black Friday from the opening bell.

The Dow Jones gained 41.7 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 10213, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 11 points, or 0.6%, to 1946. The S&P 500 ended Friday up 3.7 points, or 0.3%, at 1113.

In economic news, the Commerce Department reported Friday that U.S. wholesalers' inventories grew 1.2 percent in May as sales gained 0.5 percent, down from April's 0.9 percent increase.

GE reported before the market opened Friday that Q2 net income rose 3.4% from last year's second quarter to $3.92 billion, or 38 cents a share, on revenues of $37.0 billion. GE stock finished the day up 47 cents, or 1.5%, to $32.17 on NYSE-leading volume of 25.2 million shares.

Germany-based SAP gained 2.08, or 5.5%, to $40.04. SAP announced Thursday that it expects a 15 percent increase in Q2 revenues over the year-ago quarter.

Despite warning Thursday that Q1 revenue would fall short of previous estimates, Computer Associates International Inc. gained 1.27, or 5.2%, to close at $25.81 as traders focused more on CA's reaffirmation of its earlier earnings estimates.

Storage Technology Corp. soared 3.05, or 12.1%, to $28.30 after reporting Thursday that earnings would fall within the range of analyst estimates. However, Storage Technology also said a decline in orders during the last two weeks of the quarter will bring Q2 revenues below Wall Street expectations. STK will announce Q2 results after the market closes on July 20.

Software market leader Microsoft Corp. (QUOTE NASDAQ:MSFT> gained 22 cents, or 0.8%, to $27.86 on volume of 50 million shares, tops in the Nasdaq.

Another storage management vendor, VERITAS Software Corp. , shook off Thursday's news of a class-action lawsuit to climb 70 cents, or 3.9%, in heavy trading to finish at $18.50. The lawsuit, filed by a New York law firm, accuses VERITAS of misleading investors by confirming earnings expectations that included projected revenue from contracts not yet finalized.