After the close, a couple of companies gave signals that the sluggish U.S. economy is slowly recovering.
CSX rises 1 percent after hours as Q1 earnings and revenues easily exceeded Street estimates. While earnings of $0.78 topped expectations of $0.69, most encouraging was a 5 percent rise in volumes, the railroad's first increase in 3 years.
Greater shipments of fertilizers (up 32 percent), metals (up 27 percent), and a rebound in chemicals (up 7 percent) led the way, a sign that economic conditions were improving. One weak spot remained: a 13 percent decline in coal shipments, but that decline was still smaller than the drops in recent prior quarters.
One other positive sign: like some other companies in the retail space recently, CSX saw employee wages increasing due to "higher incentive compensation" in the quarter.
Chip giant Intel made similar comments, saying businesses are spending again and that global demand for personal computers is increasing. They also said they were planning the first increase in workers in five years.
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