Los Angeles Times

Earnings drive stocks to 2nd straight gain

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Stocks closed higher on Wall Street for a second straight day Wednesday after a sharp drop at the beginning of the week.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.8% and is now on pace for a weekly gain. Technology stocks, banks and companies that rely on consumer spending helped drive the benchmark index’s advance. Energy stocks also rose as the price of U.S. crude oil marched 4.3% higher. Utilities and real estate stocks were among the decliners.

The market’s swift rebound from Monday’s sharp sell-off ref lects investors’ tug of war as they factor in signs of economic growth, strong corporate earnings and a recovering job market against the potential risks of rising inflation and the more contagious Delta variant of the coronaviru­s.

The S&P 500 gained 35.63 points to close at 4,358.69. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 286.01 points, or 0.8%, to 34,798, and the Nasdaq composite added 133.08 points, or 0.9%, ending at 14,631.95. The Dow and Nasdaq have also recouped their losses from Monday’s sell-off.

Traders continued to bid up small-company stocks. The Russell 2000 index outpaced the other major indexes with a gain of 39.74 points, or 1.8%, to 2,234.04.

What’s helped push stocks higher the last two days is better-than-expected results from big corporatio­ns.

Chipotle Mexican Grill jumped 11.5% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after the fast-food chain reported better-than-expected results after the closing bell Tuesday.

But Netflix fell 3.3% after reporting its worst slowdown in subscriber growth in eight years.

Earnings season will kick into high gear next week, when more than 100 members of the S&P 500 will report their quarterly results.

Bond yields continued to recover from their sharp fall earlier in the week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.29%, up from 1.20% the day before.

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