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US Markets end higher on Tuesday

The US markets ended higher on Tuesday following a round of better than expected corporate earnings. UnitedHealth reported better than expected first quarter results and raised its full-year earnings guidance. Johnson & Johnson ended the day up by 1.1 percent after reporting first quarter results that exceeded street estimates and boosting its forecast for full-year sales growth. However, upside remain capped with reflecting a notable decrease in mining output, the Federal Reserve released a report showing US industrial production unexpectedly edged lower in the month of March. The report said industrial production dipped by 0.1 percent in March after inching up by 0.1 percent in February. Street had expected production to rise by 0.2 percent. The unexpected decrease in production came as mining output slid by 0.8 percent in March after coming in unchanged in the previous month. The Fed said manufacturing production was unchanged in March after declining in both January and February, while utilities output crept up by 0.2 percent after spiking by 3.7 percent.

Meanwhile, a report released by the National Association of Home Builders showed a modest improvement in US homebuilder confidence in the month of April. The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index inched up to 63 in April after holding at 62 in March, with the uptick matching expectations. NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde said that  builders report solid demand for new single-family homes but they are also grappling with affordability concerns stemming from a chronic shortage of construction workers and buildable lots. The modest increase by the housing market index came as the component measuring traffic of prospective buyers jumped to 47 in April from 44 in March. The component gauging current sales conditions also crept up to 69 in April from 68 in March, although the measure charting sales expectations in the next six months edged down to 71 from 72.

Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 67.89 points or 0.26 percent to 26452.66, Nasdaq gained 24.21 points or 0.30 percent to 8000.23 and S&P 500 was up by 1.48 points or 0.05 percent to 2907.06.

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