Strong earnings bolster Wall Street

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Offering fresh fodder to the Wall Street bull, a parade of American corporations, from General Motors to Kodak, released third-quarter earnings results yesterday that were far in excess of analysts' forecasts.

The slew of higher-than-expected earnings came on the heel of Wall Street's record-setting day on Monday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average settled over the 6,000 mark for the first time in its 100-year history. They will do little to bolster warnings from the minority of bearish analysts that the New York markets are overvalued compared with company earnings. In a partial reversal of Monday's markets gains, however, the Dow slipped back somewhat in early trading yesterday after profit taking.

Third-quarter profits at General Motors, the largest of the Big Three car makers, came out at $1.27bn (pounds 802m), or $1.57 a share, double the level achieved over the same quarter last year. Chrysler also announced on Monday a doubling of its third quarter profits. Ford results are due today.

Kodak, the world's largest maker of film and photographic paper, unveiled a 21 per cent jump in its third-quarter earnings. Net income rose to $410m, or $1.22 a share, from $338m, or 99 cents a share, in the 1995 quarter.