NEW YORK - Wall Street is finding some at least short-term solace in a slew of better-than-expected earnings and oil's rise.
"All the companies except Danaher (DHR) beat their bottom line earnings-per-share estimate, and it didn't miss, it matched," Nich Raich, CEO at the Earnings Scout said of the industrial and medical device maker.
"The bad news is seven missed on sales, so there may be a bit of a relief rally here, but the reality is top-line sales growth is coming in disappointing."
Of the 93 S&P 500 (SPX) companies that have reported quarterly results so far, 76 percent have beat earnings estimates, but only 46 percent have beat expectations for top-line sales, according to Raich. "So companies are doing a good job of managing costs and buying back shares. They are doing what they have to do in a challenging revenue-growth environment."
The energy sector led gains among the 10 major sectors on the S&P 500, which rose 27 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,904. 3M surged 5 percent to lead blue-chip gains, with included all 30 components on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) up 282 points, or 1.8 percent, at 16,167. The Nasdaq (COMP) added 49 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,568.
Apple gained ahead of the iPhone maker's quarterly earnings, with the results "a bellwether for what's going on in China," said Raich. China's slowing economy has dragged on global growth, which in addition to the strong dollar and the fallout in the energy sector are making for a difficult revenue-growth environment.