NEW YORK (AP) Stocks rise Tuesday as Wall Street awaits news from some of its most influential companies and whether their huge rally this year was warranted.
The S&P 500 rose 0.4% late in the session, near its highest level in more than 15 months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 68 points, or 0.2%, to 34,480 with about an hour remaining in trade, and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.9%.
General Electric helped lead the market as the earnings season gathered pace. GE rebounded 6% after reporting higher-than-expected spring earnings. It also raised its full-year revenue and profit forecast.
Another industrial giant, 3M, rose 5% after the Scotch-Brite and Post-It maker raised its full-year profit forecast thanks in part to cost-cutting efforts. Homebuilder PulteGroup climbed 6.2% after reporting higher-than-expected spring earnings.
On the losing side of Wall Street were airline stocks, led by Alaska Air Group. It fell 10.4% despite reporting stronger-than-expected earnings and revenue for the last quarter. Analysts said investors may have been disappointed with its financial guidance for the current quarter.
Raytheon Technologies fell 11.6% after saying accelerated recalls and inspections were needed for some of its Pratt & Whitney jet engines to check for a rare condition in the metal powder. That prompted it to revise its forecast for how much cash it will generate this year, although it reported higher earnings and revenue for the spring than analysts had expected.
This week is busy for earnings reporting, and about 30% of S&P 500 companies are on the schedule. Attention then turns to two behemoths that will report after markets close on Tuesday, Alphabet and Microsoft.
They were two of the seven stocks that drove the majority of the S&P 500’s 19% gain in the first half of the year. Both are up at least 39% for the year so far on expectations that they will continue to generate strong growth, and the numbers they produce in the afternoon will offer more clues as to whether those expectations are reasonable.
Meanwhile, UPS has oscillated between gains and losses after reaching a tentative agreement with 340,000 unionized workers to raise wages, which could avert a strike. UPS down 1.2%
This week, another highlight for Wall Street also kicked off on Tuesday: the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate meeting.
The Fed is expected to announce another interest rate hike on Wednesday as it attempts to rein in high inflation. That would take the federal funds rate to a range of 5.25% to 5.50%, its highest level since 2001 and up from virtually zero at the start of last year.
High rates dampen inflation by slowing the overall economy and hurting stock prices and other investments. The hope among traders is that Wednesday’s move will be the last increase in this cycle because inflation has cooled since last summer.
Those hopes, along with the growing belief that the economy can avoid a long-predicted recession, have helped stocks rally strongly this year. The labor market remained remarkably strong, allowing US households to continue spending and supporting the economy. A report on Tuesday showed that US consumer confidence rose more than economists expected.
But many on Wall Street warn that the Fed is unlikely to give any signal on Wednesday that it is done raising rates. Inflation is still high, though it has moderated somewhat, and the economy may have to cave into a long but shallow recession if the Fed is to bring inflation back to its 2% target, according to Steven Ricchiuto, chief U.S. economist at Mizuho Securities.
In the bond market, returns were mixed for Treasuries.
The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 3.90% from 3.88% Monday night. It helps set the rates for mortgages and other large loans.
The two-year Treasury yield, which moves more on market expectations for Fed action, slipped to 4.90% from 4.92%.
In foreign markets, stock indexes were mixed.
Shares jumped 4.1% in Hong Kong and 2.1% in Shanghai. Chinese leaders promised measures to boost sluggish economic growth by supporting property sales and other struggling sectors, but gave no details or mentioned possible stimulus spending.
The indices evolved more modestly in the rest of the world.
AP Business Writer Joe McDonald contributed.
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