Stocks Rise Broadly; J&J Leads Gains For Health Care Sector

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Stocks rose broadly in midday trading on Wall Street Tuesday as corporate earnings reporting gets into full swing.

The S&P 500 rose 0.6% as of 11:33 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 145 points, or 0.4%, to 35,403 and the Nasdaq rose 0.6%.

Technology and health care companies led the gains. Software maker Adobe rose 2.5%. Johnson and Johnson jumped rose 3.1% after raising its profit forecast for the year following the release of strong third-quarter earnings.

The broad gains for stocks follow a mixed start to the week on Monday as investors continue monitoring corporate earnings. Analysts polled by FactSet are now forecasting earnings growth of 30% for the S&P 500, up from 23% in June. More importantly, the results could help give investors a better sense of how companies will move forward through the year as they deal with rising inflation and the economic recovery slowing down.

The first exchange-traded fund to track Bitcoin futures rose 2.5% in its market debut. Trading was very heavy for the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, reflecting the increasing interest in cryptocurrencies. The ETF had more than 7.4 million shares trading hands in the first 25 minutes. That was more than 10 times the trading volume of the largest ETF tracking the price of gold and more than double the largest ETF tracking the S&P 500.

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF offers a potentially easier way for some investors to get into the fast-growing crypto world, though it invests in futures contracts for Bitcoin rather than the currency itself. The price of Bitcoin rose 1.1%, according to CoinDesk.

Bond yields moved higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.62% from 1.58% late Monday.

Energy stocks gained ground as oil prices edged 0.6% higher. Exxon Mobil rose 1.1%. U.S. crude oil prices are up 73% for the year while natural gas prices have risen roughly 78%. The prices have surged as the global economic recovery drives demand and it is raising concerns about a global energy crunch.

Insurance company Travelers rose 2.9% after it handily beat Wall Street’s third-quarter profit forecasts. Other large companies, including streaming entertainment giant Netflix and United Airlines, will report their results after the market closes.

Several key earnings from airlines this week will also give investors a clearer picture into the impact from a surge in COVID-19 cases over the summer. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines will report their results on Thursday.

Outside of earnings, the Commerce Department reported that U.S. home construction fell 1.6% in September as builders continue to be tripped up by supply chain bottlenecks. Shares of homebuilders were weaker. Beazer Homes fell 1.7% and D.R. Horton fell 0.5%.

By DAMIAN J. TROISE - Oct 19. 2021 - 11:50 AM



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