Stock market drives to records after strong earnings – MarketWatch

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U.S. stock-market indexes set a round of records early Wednesday as traders welcomed another batch of upbeat earnings reports from heavyweights Boeing Co. and AT&T Inc.

But gains were somewhat limited as investors awaited signals from the Federal Reserve, which is expected to leave rates unchanged at the end of its two-day policy meeting but may provide clues to the path of future rate increases and its plan to commence unwinding its balance sheet.

The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.07%  was up 2 points, or 0.1%, to 2,478, with seven of its 11 main sectors trading higher. Telecoms were leading gains, up 2.7%, putting the group on pace for its best daily advance since August 2015, according to FactSet data, following stronger-than-expected earnings from AT&T.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.16% added 15 points, or 0.2%, to 6,427. The Dow DJIA, +0.49%  added 120 points, or 0.6%, to 21,732, setting an intraday high. Among blue-chip companies, Boeing Co. BA, +7.93%  shares jumped nearly 8%, powering the benchmark into record territory.

The main equity gauges were on track to close at records on Wednesday.

“The market is right to be driven by earnings and so far we’ve had enough upside surprises. Because it has been the most hated bull market, there is still room to grow,” said Kim Forrest, senior portfolio manager at Fort Pitt Capital.

“A number of major companies have stepped up to meet the challenge this quarter, beating the Street handily to provide fundamental support to the market rally,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, in a note.

Meanwhile, oil futures CLU7, +0.35%  climbed amid hopes that U.S. inventories may have fallen sharply last week. A rise of almost 1% in the early going looks to stretch crude’s week-to-date gain to about 5%.

See: Here’s why oil just scored its biggest one-day rally of 2017

Economic docket: The Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day policy meeting is due to end with an announcement at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

See: Fed to stick to plans for rate hike, balance-sheet selloff this year

The Commerce Department said new home sales in June came in at a 610,000 annual pace, a pickup of 0.8% from downwardly revised May data.

Check out: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar

Stock movers: Shares in Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD, +8.72%  soared 11% after the chip maker reported stronger-than-anticipated earnings and raised its guidance late Tuesday.

See: AMD earnings give investors what they wanted, now it must deliver more

Telecom company AT&T Inc. T, +4.83%  jumped 4% after the company posted better-than-expected earnings late Tuesday.

Healthy burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. CMG, -2.08%  initially rose following stronger-than-expected results, but reversed to trade 1% lower.

Biotech giant Amgen Inc. AMGN, -2.38% fell 2.6% following its quarterly report.

Earnings deluge: Coca-Cola Co. KO, +0.07% reported better-than-expected earnings and lifted its full-year earnings outlook, but shares were unchanged.

Ford Motor Co. F, -1.48%  shares fell 2.5% even thought the car maker reported earnings above Wall Street expectations and gave positive guidance for the full year.

Insurer Anthem Inc. ANTM, -2.17% shares fell 2.7% as quarterly earnings came in above expectations, but revenue fell short.

Aerospace heavyweight Boeing BA, +7.93%  shares jumped 8% after better-than-expected earnings and lifting its full-year guidance.

Facebook Inc.’s FB, -0.32%  release is on tap after the market’s close Wednesday.

Other markets: European equities SXXP, +0.48%  traded higher, after Asian markets closed mixed. Gold futures GCQ7, -0.25%  lost ground, while a key dollar index DXY, +0.09% was unchanged.

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