SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

July 23, 2012 08:20 ET

S&P 500 Index Rallies to Two-Month High on Better-Than-Estimated Earnings - General Electric and Walgreen Looking Strong

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on General Electric and Walgreen

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jul 23, 2012) - The Standard & Poor's 500 Index recent rally have seen it reach a new two-month high. A string of better-than-estimated earnings and speculation that the poor economic data will force further stimulus from the Federal Reserve have pushed stocks higher. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) has gained over 3 percent in the last week. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the S&P 500 Index and provides equity research on General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) and Walgreen Company (NYSE: WAG).

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Recent data compiled by Bloomberg shows that out of the 99 S&P 500 companies who have reported quarterly results approximately 70 percent of them have exceeded analyst estimates. Data showed that analysts had projected second-quarter profits to decline by 2.1 percent.

"The theme coming out in earnings is companies are coming in short in revenue but still beat on earnings. Analysts have moved their targets (lower) and companies still are lean and mean and are able to generate profit," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital.

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General Electric recently reported its ninth consecutive quarter of strong operating earnings growth. GE announced second-quarter 2012 operating earnings of $4.0 billion, or $0.38 per share, up 7 percent and 12 percent respectively from the second-quarter of 2011. Total revenues for the company were $36.5 billion for the quarter, up 2 percent.

Shares of Walgreens soared nearly 12 percent Thursday after the company reported it had reached an agreement with Express Scripts on a multi-year pharmacy network agreement. The companies did not disclose the terms of the new contract. Walgreens will be part of the broadest network of pharmacies available to Express Scripts clients, as of September 15, 2012.

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