S&P 500 rallies as GM shines on earnings stage to bolster consumer stocks

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S&P 500 rallies as GM shines on earnings stage to bolster consumer stocks
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com -- The S&P 500 rose Tuesday, remaining on course to notch its best month since January as investors weighed up a slew of mostly better-than-expected results just as the Federal Reserve kicked of its two-day meeting.

The  S&P 500 rose 1% taking its gains to more than 5% for the month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.66%, or 224 points, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.7%.

Consumer discretionary stocks led the market higher, led by a General-Motors-inspired surge in automakers.

General Motors (NYSE: GM ) rallied more than 7% after its fourth-quarter results topped Wall Street estimates and the automaker delivered annual guidance that was less bad than feared.

“We believe this quarter from GM was a statement to the Street expressing that demand worries and supply shortages are a thing of the past and to shift focus on the massive opportunity ahead as GM continues chipping away at its transformational story,”  Wedbush said in a note.

Consumer stocks were also pushed higher by a rally in PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM ) to new 52-week highs after the homebuilder delivered better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings .

Tech, meanwhile, rebounded from its soft start to the week, as investors look to further results from big tech. Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META ) is set to report results on Wednesday. While Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ), and Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) on Thursday.

In industrials, investors weighed up better-than-expected results from United Parcel Service Inc (NYSE: UPS ) and Smith AO Corporation (NYSE: AOS ) against a quarterly revenue miss from Caterpillar .

Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) fell more than 3% after the heavy equipment maker’s fourth-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street estimates, pressured by a strong dollar and higher costs during the quarter.

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD ), meanwhile, delivered quarterly results that beat on both the top and bottom lines , but worries over margins weighed on the stock after the fast-food giant said cost pressures were expected to persist in 2023.

In other news, PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL ) announced plans to lay off 2,000 employees, about 7% of its workforce as the payments company prepares for a “challenging macroeconomic environment.”

The strong day of gains on Wall Street comes just as the Fed kicked off its two-day meeting, which is expected to culminate in a decision to slow the pace of rate hikes to 25 basis points.

In economic news, consumer confidence fell in January to a reading of 107.1, as consumers grew less upbeat about job prospects and expected business conditions to soften in the near term.

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