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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