NEW YORK (AP) Stocks rose again on Thursday after more companies reported better-than-expected earnings, while yields climbed after a Federal Reserve official warned the end of its interest rate hikes may not come as soon as Wall Street hoped.
The S&P 500 gained 0.9%, adding to its rally the day before as hopes still grow that the US government can avert disaster default on his debt. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 115 points, or 0.3%, while the Nasdaq composite climbed 1.5%.
Video game maker Take-Two Interactive posted the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after forecasting a huge revenue boost for the fiscal year following this one. This fueled speculation that Grand Theft Auto VI is on the way, and its stock jumped 11.7%.
Bath & Body Works followed closely with a gain of 10.7%. It reported higher revenue and earnings for the latest quarter than analysts had expected.
Another retailer also helped support Wall Street, walmart, which rose 1.3% after announcing stronger-than-expected results for the last quarter. It raised its financial forecast for the full year, although it said its buyers remained cautious about spending.
The retail sector has come under intense scrutiny as strong US household spending has been a key pillar in preventing the economy from slowing from a recession.
Equities have remained remarkably resilient since early April despite a long list of worries. One of the main reasons for this is the hope that the Fed would facilitate its rate hikes, which have slowed inflation at the expense of the risk of recession and falling prices in financial markets.
The widespread bet was that the Fed would take a break at its next meeting in June. But Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan dampened some of those hopes in a speech prepared for the Texas Bankers Association.
Data for the next few weeks could still show it’s appropriate to skip a meeting, Logan said. But to date, we are not there yet.
Treasury yields climbed as traders increased bets that the Fed would raise rates again at its June meeting, although the majority still expect a pause.
The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 3.64% from 3.57% on Wednesday evening. The two-year yield, which moves more in line with Fed expectations, fell from 4.16% to 4.25%.
Higher rates have already slowed swaths of the economy and helped lead to three of the biggest US bank failures in history since March. Reports on the economy on Thursday are mixed.
One of them showed that fewer workers applied unemployment benefits last week than expected. While this is good news for workers and for a hitherto strong labor market, it could also put upward pressure on inflation. This is what the Fed is desperately trying to reduce by raising its benchmark interest rate to the highest level since 2007.
A separate report says manufacturing in the mid-Atlantic region continues to weaken, but not as badly as economists expected.
Cisco Systems stock oscillated between small gains and losses throughout the day after reporting stronger-than-expected last quarter results and raising its outlook for the current quarter. Analysts said some investors may be disappointed amid concerns about weaker-than-expected growth in the next fiscal year. Its stock ended with a gain of 1.2%.
The majority of S&P 500 companies reported higher earnings for the first three months of the year than analysts had expected. But they are still on track to report a second consecutive quarter of lower profits than a year earlier, according to FactSet.
In total, the S&P 500 gained 39.28 points to 4,198.05. The Dow rose from 115.14 to 33,535.91 and the Nasdaq from 188.27 to 12,688.84.
In overseas stock markets, indexes rose across much of Europe and Asia after Wall Street’s rally from Wednesday spread westward. The increase came after President Joe Biden said he was confident of reaching an agreement with Republicans to allow the US government to increase its credit limit and borrow more.
This could avoid a potential first default on Washington’s debt. The government is expected to run out of cash to pay its bills as early as June 1 unless a deal is struck, and economists say a default by the US federal government could have catastrophic consequences for financial markets and the economy .
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.6% to continue a strong recent run, while Germany’s DAX in Europe posted a 1.3% return.
AP Business Writers Matt Ott and Joe McDonald contributed