Tech, health care stocks lead Wall Street indexes higher

Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street Tuesday, giving the S&P 500 its fifth straight gain and getting it closer to the record high it set in early September. The benchmark index added 0.7%. Health care companies made some of the biggest gains. Johnson & Johnson climbed 2.3% after raising its 2021 profit forecast again. Insurance company Travelers rose 1.6% after releasing results that easily beat analysts’ forecasts. The first exchange-traded fund to track Bitcoin futures rose 4.7% on its first day of trading. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.64%.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

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% as of 3:29 p.m. Eastern, on pace for its fifth straight gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 155 points, or 0.4%, to 35,407 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.6%.

Among the tech sector winners were Apple, which rose 1.2.%, and software maker Adobe, which added 2.1%. Johnson and Johnson, the world’s biggest maker of health care products, rose 2.1% 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 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.

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“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.

The first exchange-traded fund to track Bitcoin futures rose 4.6% in its market debut. Trading was very heavy for the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, reflecting the increasing interest in cryptocurrencies.

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 4.3%, according to CoinDesk.

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 1.4%.

U.S. crude oil prices are up 73% for the year while natural gas prices have risen roughly 80%. 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 1.5% 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.

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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 2.7% and Hovnanian Enterprises fell 2.1%.


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