US stocks surged Wednesday as earnings reports and economic data were better than anticipated.
Wall Street’s indexes had lost ground in the past two sessions, coming off a strong July performance.
The ISM services PMI outstripped expectations with a July reading of 56.7%.
US stocks soared Wednesday in a rally sparked by economic data and a crop of earnings reports that outstripped expectations, giving investors a chance to set aside recession concerns.
All three of Wall Street’s major benchmarks gained ground after two consecutive losses at the start of August trade. The major indexes jumped in July, cutting into their year-to-date declines.
Investors on Wednesday pushed up shares of Starbucks, CVS and Moderna after the coffee shop chain, the drugstore retailer, and the COVID-19 vaccine maker each posted quarterly financial results that surpassed expectations. CVS and Moderna bumped up financial guidance.
On the economic front, June factory orders rose by a more-than-expected 2%, and US services sector activity as measured by the Institute for Supply Management improved in July from June. The ISM Services PMI came in at 56.7% versus 53.0% in an Econoday consensus estimate.
Here’s where US indexes stood after the 4:00 p.m. closing bell on Wednesday:
“The ISM report clearly shows an improvement with both business activity and new orders,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note. “Inflation is cooling, but if several industries are still reporting rises, further declines may not be happening anytime soon,” he said.
St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard told CNBC on Wednesday that “it’s hard to say there’s a recession,” with strong job growth logged in the first half of 2022. He projected the Fed will raise interest rates by at least another 1.5 percentage points to bring down inflation, which stood at 9.1% in June.
“The debate over what the Fed will do in September won’t be answered until we get closer to the Jackson Hole Symposium, possibly the August [nonfarm payrolls] and inflation reports,” said Moya, “but right now it seems way too early to say that a 75 basis point increase is off the table.”
Wall Street’s confidence in the stock market is the lowest in 5 years as investors price in recession risk, Bank of America said.
Oil prices fell after US government data showed an unexpected increase in weekly oil stockpiles, by 4.5 million barrels to 426.6 million barrels. Prices earlier had risen after OPEC+ said it plans to raise oil production by 100,000 barrels a day, widely considered a modest increase.
West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 3.2% to $91.41 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, lost 3% to fetch $97.53 a barrel. The price downturn “suggests that the market is concerned over the possibility of weakening gasoline demand,” Noah Barrett, research analyst for energy & utilities at Janus Henderson Investors, wrote in a note.
Bitcoin rose 2% to $23,498.01.
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