US stocks flat ahead of additional third-quarter earnings reports Wednesday

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U.S. stocks were flat early Wednesday morning as earnings reports continued to exceed estimates. 

Stocks in this Article

$35457.31

+198.70 (+0.56%)

$15129.089569

+107.28 (+0.71%)

Two Dow members – Verizon and IBM – will post their third quarter earnings Wednesday morning and afternoon, respectively. The morning will also see results from key players in the health care industry: Anthem, Abbott Labs and Biogen. The afternoon will be all about electric vehicle maker Tesla as well.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rose to 4,519.63, within 0.4% of its Sept. 2 all-time high.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 198.70 points to 34,457.31. The Nasdaq composite rose 107.28 points to 15,129.09.

Johnson & Johnson, the biggest maker of health products, rose 2.3% after reporting strong quarterly earnings and raising its profit forecast for the year.

U.S. stocks were flat early Wednesday morning as earnings reports continued to exceed estimates. 

Apple Inc. rose 1.5% and software maker Adobe gained 2.1%.

Investors worry disruptions to supply lines and shipping due to the coronavirus pandemic may depress corporate profits or push up inflation.

Procter & Gamble fell 1.2% after saying it will raise prices amid higher commodity and freight costs.

Overall, analysts polled by FactSet forecast earnings growth of 30% for the S&P 500, up from 23% in June.

Exxon Mobil rose 1.5% as oil prices rose. U.S. crude is up 73% for the year, while natural gas prices have risen 81%.

Surging energy prices are rising concerns about a supply crunch that might hold back an economic recovery.

Also Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported that U.S. home construction fell 1.6% in September. Beazer Homes fell 2.7% and Hovnanian Enterprises fell 3%.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks rose Wednesday after Wall Street advanced for a fifth day on strong corporate earnings.

Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney advanced. Seoul declined.

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Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.7%, propelled by health care and tech stocks.

Asian markets took their “cue from extended gains on Wall Street following encouraging earnings results,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades in a report.

Also Wednesday, investors watched for inflation updates from Britain and some other European governments. Higher inflation may force central banks to act sooner than planned on hiking interest rates and rolling back other economic stimulus.

The Shanghai Composite Index advanced less than 0.1% to 3,594.38 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.2% to 29,287.16. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 1.3% to 26,125.96.

The Kospi in Seoul shed 0.3% to 3,020.18 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.7% to 7,426.00.

India’s Sensex opened less than 0.1% higher at 61,755.11. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets advanced.

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In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 44 cents to $82.00 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, 43 cents to $84.65 per barrel in London.

The dollar rose to 114.55 yen from Tuesday’s 114.31 yen. The euro gained to $1.1652 from $1.1640.

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