US stocks lifted by welcome for Visa in China - New York Report

US STOCKS ended stronger yesterday as Visa’s potential expansion into China and talk of a turnaround at McDonald’s helped investors look beyond a mixed bag of quarterly earnings.

All of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors rose, with the tech index gaining 1.09 per cent, propelled by Visa and MasterCard.

Visa ended 4.07 per cent higher at $68.01 after hitting a record high of $69.98, while MasterCard closed up 3.91 per cent after China said it would open up its market to foreign firms for clearing domestic bank card transactions.

McDonald’s surged 3.13 per cent after it said it was working on a plan to reverse its shrinking sales.

A week ago, more than 80 per cent of the S&P 500 companies to have posted their March-quarter earnings had beaten estimates. But with 121 reports now in, that number has slipped to 71.9 per cent – just above the 70 per cent earnings beat rate seen over the past four quarters. Many have blamed misses on revenue on a strong dollar for making their products more expensive overseas.

“We’re sorting through earnings. It’s mixed, but there’s no drastic change to the general economic recovery,” said Michael Sansoterra, portfolio manager of the RidgeWorth Large Cap Growth Fund in Atlanta.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 88.68 points, or 0.49 per cent, to end at 18,038.27. The S&P 500 gained 10.67 points, or 0.51 per cent, to 2,107.96 and the Nasdaq Composite added 21.07 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 5,035.17.