Hopes for earnings see Wall Street rise

WALL Street stocks rose yesterday amid signs the global economy was recovering and optimism that corporate earnings reports will beat expectations.<br /><br />The economic optimism spurred gains in energy and other commodities, lifting shares of oil and resource companies. Shares of <strong>Exxon Mobil</strong> rose 1.6 per cent to $68.66 and were among the top gainers on the Dow.<br /><br />Expectations of a rebound in revenues and earnings for the recently ended third quarter fed the optimism. Quarterly earnings are due to kick off tonight, with results from aluminium company <strong>Alcoa</strong>. Its shares were up 3.5 per cent to $13.89. <br /><br />The Dow Jones industrial average was up 131.50 points, or 1.37 per cent, at 9,731.25. The Standard &amp; Poor&rsquo;s 500 index was up 14.26 points, or 1.37 per cent, at 1,054.72. The Nasdaq Composite index was up 35.42 points, or 1.71 per cent, at 2,103.57.<br /><br />It was the market&rsquo;s second day of gains, after marking its second week of losses on Friday. The S&amp;P 500 is now up about 56 per cent since hitting 12-year lows in early March.<br /><br />&ldquo;I think expectations going into the quarter are for a fairly positive earnings season. Last quarter about 70 per cent of companies beat estimates on the heels of aggressive cost cutting and very weak consensus estimates,&rdquo; said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial.<br /><br />Benchmark US gold futures scaled an all-time high at $1,045 an ounce, adding to gains in commodity-related shares. <strong>Freeport-McMoRan Copper &amp; Gold</strong> advanced 3.4 per cent at $69.61.<br /><br />Shares of industrial companies sensitive to the economy&rsquo;s cycles also rose. Shares of <strong>United Technologies,</strong> the world&rsquo;s largest maker of elevators and air conditioners, climbed 1.8 per cent at $61.49.<br /><br />On Nasdaq, <strong>Microsoft</strong> increased 1.9 per cent to $25.11 after introducing new software for mobile phones to compete with Apple&rsquo;s iPhone. <strong>Apple</strong> shares rose 2.1 per cent at $190.01.<br /><br />Volume was below average on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1.23bn shares changing hands, under last year&rsquo;s estimated daily average of 1.49bn, while on the Nasdaq, about 2.42bn shares traded, above last year&rsquo;s daily average of 2.28bn.