stock market

Stocks Snap 2-Day Losing Streak Amid Earnings Optimism

S&P 500, Dow Jones, Nasdaq rebounded sharply on Wednesday.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market advanced on Wednesday, snapping a two-day losing streak, as investors continued to track corporate earnings reports.

Wall Street’s major indices were higher at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) climbing 316.01 points, or 0.9%, to 34,137.31.

The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks gained 0.9% to close at 4,173.43. Nine of 11 primary sectors reported losses, with materials leading the way. Industrials and financials also rose sharply.

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) rose 1.2% to settle at 13,950.22.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) pulled back sharply on Wednesday.  The so-called “investor fear index” reached an intraday low of 15.38 on a scale of 1-100, where 20 represents the historical average. It would eventually settle down 9.2% at 16.96.

In commodities, oil prices backtracked on Wednesday, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures falling $1.66, or 2.7%, to $61.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international futures contract, fell $1.58, or 2.4%, to $64.99 a barrel.

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In precious metals, gold prices extended their rally on Wednesday, as the June futures contract advanced $16.70, or 0.9%, to $1,795.10 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver futures advanced 87 cents, or 3.4%, to $26.71 a troy ounce.

The Final Word: Investors continue to monitor a highly active first-quarter earnings season. So far, 81% of S&P 500 companies have reported better than expected quarterly results, highlighting an impressive post-COVID recovery.