Dow rises 285 points for 2nd straight daily gain as focus shifts away from growth worries to earnings season

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Stocks are on the mend following pullbacks from record highs.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 285 points to extend a relief rally on Wednesday.
  • The S&P 500 also rose and the Nasdaq Composite pushed through early weakness.
  • Johnson & Johnson was among the Dow stocks that raised its annual earnings guidance.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US stocks closed higher Wednesday, led by blue-chips as many corporate behemoths upgraded financial guidance, though questions linger about global economic recovery as COVID-19 infections rise.

The Nasdaq Composite overcame earlier weakness while the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 285 points to advance for a second straight day of gains. The Dow was helped by shares of Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and Verizon which rose after each company raised their financial guidance and posted quarterly results that beat analyst expectations.

Stocks extended Tuesday’s rebound from a rout in the previous session that was triggered by reports about mounting coronavirus cases worldwide. Retail investors buying the dip in shares on Monday purchased a record $2.2 billion of equities.

Wednesday’s “trade is a natural reaction to such a violent move on Friday and on Monday… but I’d steer clear of drawing any conclusions that say in today’s trading, “All is well,” Keith Buchanan, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments, told Insider. “We still have to see a lot more from a data perspective to reassure this market that the reopening and progress towards the new normal of economic conditions and consumer behavior are still on track.”

Here’s where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday:

Investors have been skittish about COVID-related developments, including a stall in vaccination rates in the US while the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus is responsible for an estimated 83% of all new cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also key for the direction of markets is the outlook on inflation given that consumer and wholesales prices have shot up to multi-year highs.

“It’s paramount that investors have a clear understanding of what corporations are dealing with from a supply-shortage standpoint and how that’s developing, what they’re having to pay in order to get their products out to market,” and other cost factors including labor and whether they can pass price increases to their customers, said Buchanan.

Around the markets, Cathie Wood has added to her bitcoin exposure with another purchase of shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust after the cryptocurrency fell below $30,000 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, legendary investor Jeremy Grantham said the stock and cryptocurrency markets are in bubbles worse than in 2000.

Ulta will open mini-shops at 100 Target stores next month, the biggest cosmetics retailer in the US said Wednesday.

JPMorgan Chase handed Jamie Dimon a stock award potentially worth millions if he stays CEO for at least five more years.

Gold slipped by 0.3%, to $1,804.30 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields edged up, with the 10-year yield at 1.28%.

Oil prices jumped, pushing past weekly US data showing an unexpected climb of 2.1 million barrels in crude supplies. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 4.3%, to $70.31 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, gained 4.2%, to $72.25 per barrel.

Bitcoin surged 6.6%, to $31,763.61.

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US stocks rise as investors weigh growth concerns against strong corporate earnings

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Traders and investors braced for the jobs data on Friday.

  • Stocks were up Wednesday following a rebound rally in the previous session.
  • Cola-Cola and Verizon aided a rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
  • Bitcoin and oil prices advanced.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US stocks edged higher Wednesday, with blue-chip stocks advancing on the back of earnings reports that outstripped Wall Street’s targets, while investors confronted questions about global economic recovery as COVID-19 infections rise.

The Nasdaq Composite, home to large-cap tech stocks, slipped while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained ground. Stocks on Tuesday staged a comeback after a rout in the previous session that was triggered by reports about mounting coronavirus cases worldwide.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday:

The Dow on Wednesday found strength from shares of Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and Verizon after each company posted quarterly results that beat analyst expectations and raised guidance.

COVID cases have been increasing on the spread of the Delta strain of the virus and could fuel worries about stagflation, or the combination of slowing economic growth and inflation.

“If the virus begins to spread rapidly again, that would curtail economic growth and prolong the inflationary supply chain disruptions that have affected so many industries including semiconductors and housing,” said Nancy Davis, portfolio manager of the Quadratic Interest Rate Volatility and Inflation Hedge Exchange-Traded Fund, or IVOL, in a note.

“Stagflation is a 60/40 portfolio’s worst nightmare, as stocks and bonds tend to fall together during stagflationary environments. Lower economic growth punishes stocks and inflation robs bond investors of their returns,” she said.

Around the markets, Cathie Wood has added to her bitcoin exposure with another purchase of shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust after the cryptocurrency fell below $30,000 on Tuesday.

Ulta will open mini shops at 100 Target stores next month, the biggest cosmetics retailer in the US said Wednesday.

Gold slipped by 0.5%, to $1,801.17 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields edged up, with the 10-year yield at 1.23%.

Oil prices gained ground, with West Texas Intermediate crude up 1.5% at $68.41 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, gained 1.2% to $74.59 per barrel.

Bitcoin jumped 6%, to $31,586.92.

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US stocks tick higher as investors await key labor-market data

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  • US stocks eked out small gains on Wednesday, with all three major indexes closing slightly higher.
  • Investors are preparing for two big jobs reports this week, with weekly jobless claims and May payrolls on deck.
  • AMC Entertainment’s Reddit-fueled rally continued.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US stocks ended slightly higher Wednesday as investors prepared for two key reports about the health of the country’s labor market as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 eked out small gains but managed to hover near record highs. The Nasdaq Composite narrowly avoided its second straight loss to end the day in the green.

The day’s tepid gains came ahead of Thursday’s update from the government on weekly claims for unemployment benefits. Those figures will be followed by the Labor Department’s jobs report for May on Friday. Payrolls are expected to rise to 645,000 following April’s weaker figures.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 4 p.m. on Wednesday:

“We’re in a bit of a holding pattern, where the major indices remain just below all-time highs but the momentum hasn’t been there for a test of those levels,” JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, said in a Wednesday note.

“It’s understandable, really, when you consider the possible ramifications of the data coming up not just this week with jobs but next week with May consumer prices. People may not be comfortable stepping into big new positions with so much news ahead and the Fed waiting in the wings,” he said.

Minutes released recently from the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting in April indicated the central bank is moving closer to discussions about potentially tapering economic support as the country recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Wednesday, the Fed through its so-called Beige Book said the economy has expanded at a moderate pace from early April to late May. Relaxed social distancing measures and coronavirus vaccinations have boosted consumer spending at restaurants and for leisure travel, but price pressures have been building, it said.

Around markets, AMC Entertainment was back in the spotlight as shares more than doubled during the session, fueled by Reddit cheerleaders who overpowered a large stake sale by a hedge fund.

Bed Bath & Beyond surged as much as 54% after the housewares retailer said it’s launching its own private label brands. Meanwhile, Etsy is spending $1.6 billion to buy Depop, a social shopping app targeted at Gen Z shoppers. Shares of the online marketplace jumped.

Dogecoin climbed as much as 41% as the Coinbase Pro network begins to accept transfers of the meme currency.

Imax and Cinemark were downgraded to “Sell” ratings at Goldman Sachs.

Gold rose 0.3% to $1,906.91 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields fell, with the 10-year yield down at 1.59%.

Oil prices extended gains after OPEC and its allies on Tuesday decided to continue restricting oil inflows into the market while they slowly increase supply. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 1.6%, to $68.81 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, picked up 1.5%, to $71.33 per barrel.

Bitcoin tacked on 3.5% to trade at $37,978.88.

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