Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks push higher as earnings season rolls on

U.S. stocks pushed to the upside again Tuesday, after the largest four-day stretch of gains since late July for both the S&P 500 index and Nasdaq Composite, with companies reporting good third-quarter earnings, despite the spread of the coronavirus delta variant and supply chain disruptions.

What’s are major indexes doing?
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average

    rose 166.86 points, or 0.5%, to 35,425.47.
  • The S&P 500

    gained 26.45 points, or 0.6%, to trade at 4,512.91.
  • The Nasdaq Composite

    was up 84.24 points, or 0.6%, at 15,106.05.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 0.1%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.8%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite have each seen their best four-day winning stretch since July 23.

What’s driving the market?

The positive backdrop for equities comes as good corporate earnings have largely overshadowed worries about supply chain disruptions, though investors are watching to see how higher costs for energy and raw materials are affecting profit margins.

According to Bank of America, through the first week, 66% of companies beat Wall Street forecasts on both sales and earnings per share, which is well above the historical average of 47%.

“This earnings season could be highly important for investors, as inflation, labor, supply, and currency risks settle in,” said Lauren Goodwin, economist and portfolio strategist at New York Life Investments, in a note.

“We expect strong results as earnings reports so far indicate that many large U.S. companies have generated higher profitability despite rising labor costs, thanks to sustained sales growth,” she said. “We will be particularly attuned to companies’ guidance on the path ahead and whether higher costs could reduce corporate margins.”

Results came in ahead of the opening bell from Dow components Procter & Gamble Co.
Johnson & Johnson

and Travelers Cos. Inc.
while streaming giant Netflix Inc.

is due to report after the close.

U.S. home builders started construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.56 million in September, representing a 1.6% decrease from the previous month, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday. Permitting for new homes occurred at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.59 million, down 7.7% from August. Economists had expected housing starts to occur at a pace of 1.61 million and building permits to come in at a pace of 1.67 million. 

Several Federal Reserve officials are due to speak Tuesday.

Bitcoin BTCUSD was up 1.2% at 62,694, trading near an all-time high. The first U.S. bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund from ProShares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday under the ticker BITO
changing hands at $40.98.

See: The 2 reasons bitcoin could surge by 170% to $168,000 by year-end as crypto-linked ETFs roll out

Which companies are in focus?
  • Johnson & Johnson shares rose 2.9% after the drugmaker said it brought in $502 million in world-wide sales of its COVID-19 vaccine in the third quarter of 2021.
  • Shares of Procter & Gamble fell 1.6% after the consumer packaged goods company reported fiscal first-quarter profit that fell versus last year, but topped forecasts for earnings and sales while maintaining its full-year guidance.
  • Travelers Cos. Inc. delivered results that beat estimates. Shares of the insurer were up 3.1%.
  • Apple Inc.

    shares rose 2.5%, a day after unveiling new Mac personal computers featuring the company’s custom chips and an upgraded set of AirPods to fill out its holiday lineup.
  • Shares of Tesla Inc.

    ticked down 0.3%, threatening to snap a six-day winning streak a day before it was slated to report third-quarter results. The stock has rallied 10.8% over the past six sessions, closing Monday at its highest price since Feb. 2, and just 1.5% below the Jan. 26 record close of $883.09.
  • Philip Morris International Inc.

    shares declined 0.4% after the cigarette and tobacco company reported third-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectations as overall shipment volume increased. 
  • Shares of Kansas City Southern

    were down 0.2% after the railroad operator reported third-quarter profit that fell short of expectations.
What are other markets doing?
  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note

    rose 3.3 basis points to 1.617%. Yields and debt prices move in opposite directions.
  • The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
    a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, fell 0.3%.
  • Oil futures pushed higher in choppy trade, with the U.S. benchmark

    up 0.6% at $82.14 a barrel. Gold futures

    moved higher, up 0.4% at $1,772 an ounce.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600

    edged 0.3% higher, while London’s FTSE 100

    was up 0.2%.
  • The Shanghai Composite

    rose 0.7%, while the Hang Seng Index

    gained 1.5% in Hong Kong. Japan’s Nikkei 225

    advanced 0.7%.

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