By Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan
(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes edged higher on Wednesday, supported by technology stocks, as investors parsed through a mixed bag of quarterly earnings reports from major U.S. banks.
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) gained 0.6% as strength in its trading business helped quarterly profit surge 94%. Bank of America (NYSE:) slipped 2.5% after it missed revenue estimates and Wells Fargo (NYSE:) shed 3% as its profit fell short of forecasts.
The S&P 500 banks index ticked 0.2% lower.
Analysts expect earnings for the financial sector to slump 12.1% in the third quarter from a year earlier, while overall S&P 500 companies are expected to report a 19.6% drop in earnings, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
“Markets are geared up for the earnings season, which should once again show that Corporate America is doing a little bit better than what people expected,” said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial (NASDAQ:) in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Technology stocks climbed 0.6% as Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) firmed about 1% after sliding during an event on Tuesday when the company launched its next-generation iPhone 12.
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:) Inc gained 2.2% as several brokerages raised their target price on the chipmaker’s shares.
An impasse over a COVID stimulus bill in Washington also kept the mood in check. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Republican-led Senate would vote next week on a targeted $500 billion coronavirus aid bill of the type Democrats already have rejected as they hold out for trillions in relief.
Fading hopes of a deal on federal aid as well as a halt in trials of a COVID-19 vaccine and a treatment pulled Wall Street’s main indexes back from one-month highs on Tuesday, although losses on the Nasdaq were limited as technology mega-caps outperformed.
Investors are expecting more aid after the Nov. 3 presidential election in the event Congress fails to agree on a deal in the next three weeks.
A widening lead for Democratic candidate Joe Biden in national opinion polls has also been a positive for markets as investors expect more infrastructure spending and less global trade uncertainty, strategists and fund managers said.
At 9:44 a.m. ET, the was up 55.65 points, or 0.19%, at 28,735.46, the S&P 500 was up 11.65 points, or 0.33%, at 3,523.58. The was up 62.71 points, or 0.53%, at 11,926.61.
UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:) dropped 1.8% despite raising its profit forecast as the U.S. insurer said it was difficult to predict the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic on earnings.
Concho Resources (NYSE:) Inc surged 14% after a report that oil producer ConocoPhillips (NYSE:) was in talks to acquire the shale producer.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.95-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.72-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 64 new highs and two new lows.
Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.