The benchmark S&P 500 index, a gauge of the health of retirement and college savings accounts, rose 0.4 percent for its sixth consecutive gain to end as strong earnings sparked hope in investors.
Strong earnings from healthcare companies helped fuel broad gains for stocks on Wall Street on Wednesday and pushed the benchmark S&P 500 into the range of an all-time high.
The S&P 500, an indicator of the health of retirement and college savings accounts, rose 0.4 percent for its sixth consecutive gain. It closed at 4,536.19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4 percent to 35,609.34 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell less than 0.1 percent to end the session at 15,121.68.
“The reason we’re seeing this rally over the last week is that the company’s earnings are looking really good,” said Sylvia Jablonski, chief investment officer at Defiance ETFs. “Most companies are managing inflationary pressures and pricing issues, and that is helping ease concerns about overvaluation and inflation.”
Wall Street applauded the solid earnings of a variety of healthcare companies. Abbott Laboratories, which makes baby formulas, medical devices and drugs, rose 3.6 percent after comfortably beating analyst earnings forecasts for the third quarter. Health insurer Anthem rose 7.2 percent after also reporting strong financial results.
However, tech stocks lagged the overall market.
Netflix fell 1.9 percent after forecasting earnings for its current quarter that were below analyst estimates.
PayPal fell 4.9 percent on reports that it is considering buying a digital bulletin board and the Pinterest shopping tool, which rose 13.9 percent.
The price of Bitcoin was up 3.5 percent to over $ 66,667. It reached an all-time high earlier in the day. The gains came a day after the first exchange-traded fund linked to Bitcoin futures attracted a lot of interest from investors looking to enter the field of rising cryptocurrencies.
Investors are busy reviewing the latest company report cards as they try to get a clearer view of the economic path ahead amid rising inflation and a lingering threat from COVID-19.
A key concern remains supply chain disruptions and rising materials costs that reduce profits for many companies. Higher costs for businesses could mean higher prices for consumers, which could threaten spending that is supporting the economic recovery.
Oil services company Baker Hughes fell 5.2 percent after reporting weak third-quarter financial results, in part due to supply chain problems and higher costs. Brinker International, which operates Chili’s Grill & Bar, fell 9.1 percent after its fiscal first-quarter profit fell short of analysts’ forecasts as it faces higher labor and raw material costs.
Investors appear to be taking in stride the impact of rising inflation on companies, said Greg Bassuk, chief executive of AXS Investments.
“Without big surprises to the downside, or something really ginormous, the bulls are outpacing the bears,” he said.
Rising inflation has also put increased attention on the Federal Reserve and its plans to begin cutting bond purchases that have helped keep interest rates low. The central bank maintained for most of the year that inflation would likely be temporary and linked to economic recovery, but has been more concerned about the persistence of rising inflation.