DJIA: 35,629.33, up 224.09
S&P 500: 4,589.38, up 42.84
Nasdaq: 14,417.55, up 71.55
S&P 500’s best four-day run since 2020
U.S. stocks finished higher on Wednesday as key corporate earnings reports outweighed a disappointing labor market update. The S&P 500 advanced 0.9%, bringing its four-session increase to nearly 6%—its strongest such rally since November 2020. The Dow added 224 points, closing within 3.2% of its most recent January 4 record. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.5%.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory, with Communication Services pacing gains, helped by strong quarterly results from mega-cap Alphabet Inc. Shares of the Google parent jumped 7.5% after announcing a 20-for-1 stock split and dwarfing Wall Street profit estimates as its digital ad sales climbed. In other earnings, PayPal Holdings Inc. tumbled 24.6% after the payment service company missed consensus earnings forecasts and offered disappointing guidance. Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. advanced 5.1% following a top and bottom line beat and better-than-expected full-year outlook. Consumer Discretionary shares lagged as quarterly results from General Motors Co. and Starbucks Corp. fell short of analyst estimates.
On the data front, a report from ADP showed private payrolls unexpectedly decreased by 301,000 in January, marking the first contraction since December 2020 as the Omicron COVID-19 variant impacted hiring. This precedes tomorrow’s weekly initial jobless claims figure and Friday’s monthly non-farm payrolls report. Treasuries strengthened, with the yield on the 10-year note down two basis points (0.02%) to 1.77%. In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude settled 0.2% higher at $88.37/barrel after OPEC+ (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies) agreed to move forward with its planned output hike in March.
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