NEW YORK: US stocks rose in choppy trading on Wednesday, as strong earnings from Microsoft and Visa lifted investor spirits dented by concerns around slowing global growth and a more aggressive monetary policy.
Microsoft Corp gained 5.8% on cloud computing-led strong revenue growth forecast, while payments network Visa Inc jumped 8.2% after it predicted revenue to exceed pre-pandemic levels. Technology stocks rose 2.1% and led the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, while communication services fell 2.4% after shares of Google-parent Alphabet fell as YouTube ad sales slowed and its revenue missed expectations.
“The earnings are okay for now, but that’s kind of backward looking,” said Dave Grecsek, managing director in investment strategy and research at Aspiriant.
“The macro conditions are more forward looking. That is going to be a heavy burden for companies for the rest of this year. You are going to have lower growth and higher input costs and it’s a question of how much that’s really going to squeeze earnings.”
In the previous session, megacap growth stocks were battered and the Nasdaq fell to its lowest close since December 2020 as investors feared higher interest rates, rising inflation, geopolitical tensions and China’s COVID-19 lockdowns will hurt global growth.
Facebook-owner Meta Platforms Inc, which publishes quarterly earnings after market close, fell 2.4% and planemaker Boeing Co tumbled 7.5% after it disclosed $1.5 billion in abnormal costs from 777x output halt.
Nearly a third of the companies on the S&P 500 have reported results this week. Overall, earnings have been better than expected, with nearly 80% of the 176 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported so far beating Wall Street expectations. Typically, only 66% of companies beat estimates.
At 12:03 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 280.99 points, or 0.85%, at 33,521.17, the S&P 500 was up 33.45 points, or 0.80%, at 4,208.65, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 62.58 points, or 0.50%, at 12,553.33.
Tesla Inc gained 2.8% after a 12% slump on Tuesday on concerns that Chief Executive Elon Musk may have to sell shares to fund his buyout of Twitter Inc.
Toymaker Mattel Inc climbed 11% after a source told Reuters it was exploring a sale.
Audio streaming platform Spotify Technology SA’s US-listed shares tumbled 11.3% on downbeat current-quarter revenue forecast.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.29-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.11-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded no new 52-week highs and 58 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 20 new highs and 627 new lows.