The Oklahoman

Stocks end higher; S&P 500 on the cusp of a record


Solid earnings from health care companies helped send stocks higher on Wall Street Wednesday and pushed the benchmark S&P 500 to the brink of another record high.

The market has been gaining ground as investors shift their focus to the latest round of corporate earnings. Stocks have been choppy for weeks as rising inflation and lackluster economic data raised concerns about the path ahead for the economic recovery.

The S&P 500 rose 16.56 points, or 0.4%, to 4,536.19. It’s the sixth straight gain for the benchmark index and puts it less than a point from the all-time high it set on Sept. 2.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 152.03 points, or 0.4%, to 35,609.34. The Nasdaq fell 7.41 points, or less than 0.1%, to 15,121.68.

“The reason we’re seeing this rally over the last week is that company earnings are looking really good,” said Sylvia Jablonski, chief investment officer at Defiance ETFs. “Most companies are managing inflationary pressures and pricing issues, and that’s helping to alleviate concerns about overvaluat­ion and inflation.”

Wall Street cheered solid earnings from a variety of health care companies. Abbott Laboratori­es, which makes infant formula, medical devices and drugs, rose 3.3% after handily beating analysts’ third-quarter profit forecasts. Health insurer Anthem rose 7.7% after also reporting strong financial results. Technology stocks lagged the broader market.

Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.65% from 1.63% late Tuesday.

Netflix fell 2.2% after forecastin­g earnings for its current quarter that were below analysts’ estimates.

PayPal fell 4.9% following reports that it is considerin­g buying digital pinboard and shopping tool Pinterest, which jumped 12.8%.

The price of Bitcoin rose above $66,000 for the first time. The gains came a day after the first exchangetr­aded fund linked to Bitcoin futures attracted huge interest from investors looking to get into the surging field of cryptocurr­encies.

Investors are busy reviewing the latest report cards from companies as they try to get a clearer understand­ing of how rising inflation and the lingering threat from COVID-19 will affect the economy.

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes fell 5.7% after reporting weak third-quarter financial results, partly because of supply chain problems and higher costs. Brinker Internatio­nal, which operates Chili’s Grill & Bar, fell 9.7% after its fiscal first-quarter profit fell far short of analysts’ forecasts as it faces higher commodity and labor costs.

Railroad operator CSX gained ground in after-hours trading after reporting solid financial results, while Tesla slipped after reporting its results.

American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Union Pacific will report on Thursday.

Gold for December delivery rose $14.40 to $1,784.90 an ounce. Silver for December delivery rose 57 cents to $24.45 an ounce, and December copper rose 3 cents to $4.73 a pound.

The dollar fell to 114.21 Japanese yen from 114.31 yen. The euro rose to $1.1656 from $1.1640.

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