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Technology, health care stocks lead indexes higher

by The Associated. Press | October 20, 2021 at 2:06 a.m.
ProShares CEO Michael Sapir is photographed outside the New York Stock Exchange before his company is listed, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. ProShares will launch the country's first exchange-traded fund linked to Bitcoin. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Health care and technology companies led a broad rally for stocks on Wall Street Tuesday as investors welcomed another batch of encouraging company earnings reports.

The S&P 500 rose 0.7%, driving the benchmark index to its fifth straight gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.56% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.7%.

Among the tech sector winners were Apple, which rose 1.5%, and software maker Adobe, which added 2.1%. Johnson and Johnson, the world's biggest maker of health care products, rose 2.3% after raising its profit forecast for the year following the release of strong third-quarter earnings.

"We're starting to get more earnings in for the third quarter, and so far so good," said Tom Hainlin, national investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. "So far, the results are coming in and we haven't had a material downgrade in outlooks."

The S&P 500 rose 33.17 points to 4,519.63. The index is now within 0.4% of the all-time high it set Sept. 2. The Dow gained 198.70 points to 35,457.31. The Nasdaq rose 107.28 points to 15,129.09.

Small company stocks also rose. The Russell 2000 index gained 8.07 points, or 0.4%, to 2,275.91.

The broad gains for stocks follow a mixed start to the week as investors continue monitoring corporate earnings for clues as to how companies will move forward through the year as they deal with rising inflation, global supply chain delays and the economic recovery slowing down.

"There was a nervousness going in as we started to see some supply chain interruptions," said J.J. Kinahan, chief strategist with TD Ameritrade. "But, the overall picture is still a fairly positive one."

Those supply chain problems are going to have different impacts on companies and industries, he said, including how they absorb the costs and whether they raise prices. Procter & Gamble fell 1.2% after saying it will raise prices as it faces higher commodity and freight costs.

So far, however, rising oil prices and other costs haven't cut in severely on company profit margins, Hainlin said.

All told, analysts polled by FactSet are now forecasting earnings growth of 30% for the S&P 500, up from 23% in June.

The first exchange-traded fund to track Bitcoin futures rose 4.7% in its market debut Tuesday. Trading was very heavy for the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy fund, reflecting the increasing interest in cryptocurrencies.

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy fund offers a potentially easier way for some investors to get into the fast-growing cryptocurrency world, though it invests in futures contracts for Bitcoin rather than the currency itself. The price of Bitcoin rose 4.5%, according to CoinDesk. Its running about 1.2% below its all-time high of $64,888.99 per coin.

Bond yields moved higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.64% from 1.58% late Monday.

Energy stocks gained ground as oil prices rose 0.6%. Exxon Mobil rose 1.5%. U.S. crude oil prices are up 73% for the year, while natural gas prices have risen roughly 81%. 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 1.6% after it handily beat Wall Street's third-quarter profit forecasts.

Several key earnings from airlines this week will give investors a clearer picture into the effect from a surge in covid-19 cases over the summer. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines will report their results 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 home builders were weaker. Beazer Homes fell 2.7% and Hovnanian Enterprises fell 3%.

Trader Frank O'Connell works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. Stocks are moving modestly higher on Wall Street in early trading Tuesday as corporate earnings reporting gets into full swing. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Trader Frank O'Connell works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. Stocks are moving modestly higher on Wall Street in early trading Tuesday as corporate earnings reporting gets into full swing. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
ProShares CEO Michael Sapir, second right, and company Global Investment Strategist Simeon Hyman, right, lead the New York Stock Exchange opening bell celebration, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. ProShares will launch the country's first exchange-traded fund linked to Bitcoin. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
ProShares CEO Michael Sapir, second right, and company Global Investment Strategist Simeon Hyman, right, lead the New York Stock Exchange opening bell celebration, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. ProShares will launch the country's first exchange-traded fund linked to Bitcoin. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Trader Ashley Lara works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. Stocks are moving modestly higher on Wall Street in early trading Tuesday as corporate earnings reporting gets into full swing. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Trader Ashley Lara works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. Stocks are moving modestly higher on Wall Street in early trading Tuesday as corporate earnings reporting gets into full swing. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Trader John Santiago works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. Stocks are moving modestly higher on Wall Street in early trading Tuesday as corporate earnings reporting gets into full swing. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Trader John Santiago works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. Stocks are moving modestly higher on Wall Street in early trading Tuesday as corporate earnings reporting gets into full swing. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Trader Robert Charmak works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. Stocks are moving modestly higher on Wall Street in early trading Tuesday as corporate earnings reporting gets into full swing. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Trader Robert Charmak works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. Stocks are moving modestly higher on Wall Street in early trading Tuesday as corporate earnings reporting gets into full swing. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Print Headline: Technology, health care stocks lead indexes higher

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