Stocks End Higher, But NetApp Plunges After Hours – Investor’s Business Daily

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Stocks rose sharply for a second session Wednesday as oil prices neared $50 a barrel, bolstering sentiment that the economy is strong enough to withstand higher interest rates.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.8%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each climbed 0.7%. Volume was mixed, slipping on the Nasdaq while rising modestly on the NYSE, according to preliminary data.

After the close, NetApp (NTAP) plunged 8% after the maker of data-storage systems issued a disappointing fiscal Q4 earnings report.  Profit for the period fell 15% to 55 cents a share, the fifth straight decline and below Wall Street expectations. Sales fell 10% to $1.38 billion, the sixth straight decline and also worse than expected.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) rose nearly 4% in post-session trading after the home-furnishings retailer released its quarterly earnings report. HP (HPQ) was up about 1% following mixed quarterly results.

Oil, retail and bank stocks were among the best performers during the regular session in the stock market today, while defensive utility names were among the biggest decliners.

Western Alliance Bancorp (WAL) jumped nearly 3%, clearing a 37.58 buy point of a cup-with-handle base in heavy volume. The Phoenix-based regional lender has posted three straight quarters of accelerating profit growth. Revenue growth has been strong over the past three quarters.

Oil driller Transocean (RIG),  up nearly 10%, was the best performer in the S&P 500 as oil prices jumped 2% to just below $50 a barrel on a drop in inventories.

The Federal Reserve has hinted at an interest-rate hike at its next meeting in June, as long as the economy continues to pick up. Higher oil prices could signal higher interest rates to the extent that they reflect rising global demand.

Most IBD 50 stocks rose. Dycom Industries (DY) rocketed more than 13%, breaking out past a 73.28 buy point of a cup-with-handle base, after the telecom infrastructure company reported better-than-expected quarterly results.