U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday as investors digested the first batch of corporate earnings.
The S&P 500 gained 0.2% after closing at a record high in the previous session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 180 points. The Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.2%.
Shares of Goldman Sachs climbed 3% after the bank blew past analysts’ expectations with record first-quarter net profits and revenues on strong performance from the firm’s equities trading and investment banking units.
JPMorgan Chase beat analysts’ estimates on top and bottom lines, helped by a $5.2 billion benefit from releasing money it had previously set aside for loan losses that didn’t develop. Shares of JPMorgan dipped about 1%.
Bank stocks have risen sharply so far this year, with the KBW Bank Index easily outpacing the S&P 500.
“The first wave of Q1 big bank results look pretty much as strong as most analysts had expected – even stronger actually,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. “It’s possible that we’re in a powerful market that’s in a forgiving mood when it comes to bad news. The path of least resistance for stocks continues to seem to be to go higher, with the market climbing a wall of worries that just doesn’t go away.”
Reopening plays recouped some of the losses from the previous session amid a halt to the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine. American Airlines rose 2%, while United Airlines climbed nearly 3%. Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean all gained at least 1%.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the drugmaker can deliver 10% more vaccine doses to the U.S. by the end of May than previously expected. Plus, Moderna said its Covid-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting against the virus six months after a person’s second shot.
The Labor Department’s consumer price index came in slightly hotter than expected on Tuesday. The CPI rose 0.6% from the previous month but 2.6% from the same period a year ago. Economists polled by Dow Jones projected the headline index to rise by 0.5% month-over-month and 2.5% year-over-year.
Market participants will also be watching for the Coinbase direct listing on Wednesday. Crypto investors are hailing the company’s stock market debut as a major milestone for the industry after years of skepticism from Wall Street and regulators. The price of bitcoin surged to a fresh record high of more than $63,500 on Tuesday.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will discuss the economic recovery from the pandemic at noon on Wednesday at The Economic Club of Washington.
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