US Stocks Near Records Wednesday Morn 01/20 09:01
U.S. stocks are rising again Wednesday, climbing toward records on
stronger-than-expected earnings reports and continued optimism that new
leadership in Washington will help usher in an economic recovery.
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are rising again Wednesday, climbing toward
records on stronger-than-expected earnings reports and continued optimism that
new leadership in Washington will help usher in an economic recovery.
The S&P 500 was 0.7% higher at 3,824.26 in early trading, brushing up
against its record of 3,824.68 set earlier this month. The Dow Jones Industrial
Average was up 93 points, or 0.3%, at 31,023, as of 9:45 a.m. Eastern time, and
the Nasdaq composite was 1.3% higher.
Joe Biden will take the oath of office to become U.S. president later in the
day, and he has a flurry of executive actions at the ready. He has also pitched
a plan to pump $1.9 billion more into the struggling economy, hoping to act
quickly as his Democratic party takes control of the White House and both
houses of Congress.
The hope on Wall Street is that such stimulus will help carry the economy
until later this year, when more widespread COVID-19 vaccinations get daily
life closer to normal. Such hopes have helped stocks and Treasury yields rise,
with gains accelerating after Biden's election, even as the worsening pandemic
digs a deeper hole for the economy with more workers unemployed and shoppers
A better-than-expected start to earnings reporting season is also helping to
lift the market. Analysts came in with low expectations, forecasting the big
companies in the S&P 500 will report a fourth straight drop in earnings per
share because of the damage from the pandemic. But the vast majority of the
earliest reports have managed to top forecasts.
Morgan Stanley rose 1.8% after reporting much stronger earnings than Wall
Street had forecast. A boom in corporate mergers and takeovers helped Morgan
Stanley get more business from advising companies, and it booked more revenue
from stronger trading activity.
Netflix jumped 13.1% for one of the market's biggest gains after it said it
ended last year with more than 200 million subscribers for the first time. It
also said it made more in revenue during the last three months of 2020 than
analysts expected, though its earnings fell short of forecasts. Business is
good enough for the company that it says it likely doesn't need to borrow
anymore to cover its day-to-day operations.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.10% from 1.07% late Tuesday.
In European stock markets, the German DAX returned 0.8%, and the French CAC
40 rose 0.5%. The FTSE 100 added 0.2% in London.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4%. Main urban areas in Japan,
including Tokyo, are under a state of emergency, with evening dining at
restaurants discouraged. Critics say that's not enough, as deaths related to
COVID-19 have been rising. A vaccine rollout has not begun in Japan.
Other Asian markets were stronger. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.7%, Hong
Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.1% and stocks in Shanghai rose 0.5%.