U.S. stock rose on Wednesday as investors digested another batch of corporate earnings, and tech shares looked to build on their rebound.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 260 points, or 0.8%. The S&P 500 gained nearly 1.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.2%.
Tech stocks outperformed in early trading on Wednesday. E-commerce stocks Etsy and Shopify gained more than 2% each. Facebook-parent Meta rose more than 1% after a dramatic decline following last week’s earnings report.
The Nasdaq Composite has gained more than 7% from its recent low on Jan. 27 after falling into correction territory earlier this year. Still, many Wall Street pros are cautious about the near term outlook for tech stocks amid rising interest rates and elevated market volatility.
“While we are somewhat less cautious about expensive tech, we continue to encourage investors to be careful about unprofitable, expensive tech stocks with low quality scores,” Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi said in a note to clients. “We continue to have a preference toward lower priced/value tech names, and note that the least expensive quintile of tech has the highest expected 5-year growth outlook in more than a decade, and valuations are attractive relative to history.”
Solar stock Enphase Energy surged 16% after the company beat estimates on the top and bottom lines for the fourth quarter and delivered upbeat guidance. The result appeared to boost other stocks in the burgeoning industry as well, with SolarEdge Technologies jumping 8%.
Bond yields cooled off Wednesday amid a dramatic surge in 2022, possibly giving a boost to tech. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note most recently yielded 1.93% after touching 1.97% on Tuesday.
Mortgage applications dropped 10% week over week, however, as the rise in interest rates in recent months appears to have dampened demand among homebuyers.
Yields have risen this year in part because of a more aggressive stance from the Federal Reserve. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic told CNBC on Wednesday that three rate hikes are possible this year but that the central bank is not locked in to any path and will watch how the economy responds.
Investors are also preparing for Thursday’s Consumer Price Index report, which will give an update on the inflation picture. The Fed has already signaled a monetary policy pivot in order to address the historically high price increases.
The CPI report “has had a big bullseye on it all week and the truth is that headline number will likely be one of the highest we’ve ever seen,” said Ryan Detrick of LPL Financial. “Now the good news is we are likely close to a major peak in inflation and this number very well could be the peak. We’ve seen some improvements in supply chains lately and this is the first clue we are nearing a peak in inflation as well.”
The inflation data is estimated to show that prices rose 0.4% in January, for a 7.2% gain from one year ago, according to Dow Jones.
On Tuesday, the Dow added more than 370 points, helped by a 7.8% pop in Amgen on the back of its strong earnings report. The S&P 500 also registered a gain, climbing 0.8%. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite rose 1.3%.
As of the opening bell on Wednesday, roughly 60% of all S&P 500 companies have reported fourth-quarter earnings and about 77% have topped Wall Street’s earnings estimates, according to FactSet
“We are wrapping up a very solid earnings season,” Detrick said. “Sure, we had a high-profile blowup at Facebook, but overall we’ve seen impressive news from corporate America.”