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Equities End Higher as Financial Shares Lead Advance; Qualcomm Jumps 23% on Settlement With Apple

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Stocks ended higher Tuesday, boosted by solid earnings but the gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average was hindered by a drop in UnitedHealth.

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UnitedHealth (UNH), which advanced on Monday ahead of its latest profit report, dropped 4% on Tuesday after the numbers came out where it posted better-than-expected earnings and raised its guidance for the full year.

The healthcare sector dropped 1.8% as HCA Holding (HCA) lost 10%, and Cigna (CI) fell 7.8%

Financials led the seven advancing market sectors, ending nearly 1.4% higher after Bank of America (BAC) reported better-than-expected earnings but missed views on revenue. The bank ended up 0.1% while M&T Bank (MTB) rose 2.8%. American Express (AXP) advanced 1.1% and Goldman Sachs (GS) rose 1.2%.

BlackRock (BLK) gained 3.3% as the asset manager beat earnings expectations.

Energy shares gained 0.7% as oil prices rose. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for May delivery rose nearly 1.2% to $64.15 a barrel while international benchmark Brent crude oil for June delivery advanced more than 0.7% to $71.71.

Apache (APA) rose 1.7%, while Anadarko Petroleum (APC) gained more than 2.1%.

Qualcomm (QCOM) jumped more than 23% as it and Apple (AAPL) agreed to drop all litigation between the companies worldwide in a settlement that includes a payment to Qualcomm from Apple, which ended up slightly.

Boeing (BA) rose 1.7% after a Federal Aviation Administration draft report said the anti-stall software that is believed to have been a factor in two recent fatal crashes was “operationally suitable.”

In corporate news AT&T (T) sold its minority stake in streaming service Hulu back to the joint venture for $1.4 billion. AT&T gained 0.7%. Walt Disney (DIS), now the majority stakeholder in Hulu, lost 1.6%. Comcast (CMCSA), Hulu’s minority holder, gained 0.5%.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) jumped 2.2% after Sony previewed a new version of its PlayStation game console that runs off of AMD’s chips.

In economic news, industrial output unexpectedly contracted in March, according to the Federal Reserve.

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The Dow rose almost 0.3% while the Standard & Poor’s 500 edged slightly higher. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3%.

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