NEW YORK, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks posted gains for the past week as investor sentiment was boosted by the third quarter earnings reports and the country's potential tax reform.
For the week, the blue-chip Dow rose 2.00 percent, and the broader S&P 500 gained 0.86 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 0.35 percent.
On the earnings front, Johnson & Johnson reported better-than-expected quarterly results, driven by its pharmaceutical business and its recent acquisition of Swiss biotech Actelion. The company's stock rose 3.43 percent to close at 140.79 U.S. dollars a share on Monday.
U.S. online streaming giant Netflix also posted better-than-expected earnings and revenue, boosted by stronger-than-expected subscriber growth. Shares of the company retreated 1.58 percent to close at 199.48 U.S. dollars after rising nearly two percent in premarket trading.
Shares of U.S. tech giant IBM soared 8.92 percent to close at 159.53 U.S. dollars on Wednesday, the biggest one-day rise since January 2009, as the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results.
IBM posted adjusted earnings per share of 3.30 U.S. dollars on revenue of 19.15 billion U.S. dollars Tuesday after the close, beating market consensus of 3.28 U.S. dollars per share and 18.6 billion U.S. dollars of revenue.
General Electric (GE) reported adjusted third-quarter profit of 29 cents per share on Friday, missing market estimates of 49 cents per share. The company also cut its full-year outlook. Shares of GE increased 1.06 percent to close at 23.83 U.S. dollars.
According to consulting company Earnings Scout, this earnings season has gotten off to a good start, and about 80 percent of companies have reported beating on the bottom line, while over 70 percent have topped sales estimates.
Traders also kept an eye on the closely-watched tax reform prospects in the country.
The U.S. Senate approved a budget of four trillion U.S. dollars on Thursday, taking a crucial step toward Republicans' goal of passing a tax plan this year.
Expectations for corporate tax cuts had increased recently, sending U.S. stocks to record highs, with the Dow breaking the 23,000-threhold for the first time last week. Enditem