Late buying campaign pushes stocks higher on Wall Street | Health, Medicine and Fitness

By DAMIAN J. TROISE and ALEX VEIGA – AP Business Writers

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street on Tuesday, giving February a strong start after a miserable January. The S&P 500 added 0.7%, as did the Nasdaq composite. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8%. Almost all of the gains came in the past hour after the market spent most of the day oscillating between gains and losses. Strength in energy companies and banks helped offset weakness in other parts of the market. UPS jumped after the package delivery service reported much better results than analysts expected. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.80%.

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

Stocks faltered in afternoon trading on Wall Street on Tuesday as the market emerges from its worst month since the pandemic began nearly two years ago.

The S&P 500 was up less than 0.1% as of 2:44 p.m. ET. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 61 points, or 0.2%, to 35,196 and the Nasdaq fell 0.1% after losing an early gain.

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Technology stocks were among the largest weightings in the market. The sector has been particularly sensitive to concerns about rising interest rates this year. Higher interest rates tend to make expensive growth stocks, like big tech companies, less attractive to investors. Microsoft fell 1.6%.

Health care stocks and companies that make home and personal products also fell. UnitedHealth Group fell 1.8% and Procter & Gamble lost 0.7%.

Energy stocks made solid gains, led by a 6.3% rise in Exxon Mobil after the company reported surprisingly good fourth-quarter earnings as oil demand continues to improve.

Banks also gained ground as bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which is used to set rates on mortgages and many other types of loans, rose to 1.80% from 1.77% on Monday evening. Bank of America rose 1.4%.

Stocks have fallen so far this year as investors face a long list of threats to economic growth and markets.

The virus pandemic is still a lingering threat and each new variant could lead to a surge of cases that threatens businesses and consumer activity.

The economic recovery is threatened by a persistent rise in inflation which has increased costs for businesses and consumers. The big fear is that higher prices passed on to consumers will eventually cut spending and dampen economic growth.

The Federal Reserve changes its monetary policy and plans to raise interest rates to combat rising inflation, which will affect investments and stock prices. Ultra-low rates and other stimulus helped markets recover from the initial shock of the coronavirus pandemic and then underpinned stunning gains. Investors expect the Fed to start raising interest rates in March, but there is a lot of uncertainty about how far and how quickly the Fed will act throughout the year. .

Investors have mostly priced in tighter Fed policy and the central bank will likely be reasonable in its pace going forward, said Jay Hatfield, CEO of Infrastructure Capital Advisors.

“The macro has been priced in and now we’re back to earnings reality, which should be constructive,” he said.

Investors are looking at the latest set of results, in part to see how inflation, the virus pandemic and other factors affect companies and their operations going forward.

UPS jumped 13.5% after the package delivery service reported much better results than analysts had expected. Rival FedEx rose 2.6%.

Several big companies are on deck for profits. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, will release its financial results with General Motors and Starbucks after the market closes on Tuesday.

Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms, will release its results on Wednesday, while Amazon and Ford will release their results on Thursday.

Investors are also eagerly awaiting the Department of Labor’s jobs report for January, which will be released on Friday.

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