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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.

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.

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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