US stocks gained for a second straight session on Wednesday as upbeat earnings from Bank of America Corp and Goldman Sachs Group Inc boosted investor sentiment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 142 points, or 0.6%, to 24,207, while the S&P 500 index climbed six points, or 0.2%, to 2,616. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 11 points, 0.2%, to 7,035.
Results from Bank of America and Goldman Sachs eased worries about the earnings outlook and helped to support stocks. Bank of America shares were up 7.2%, while Goldman’s stock was up 9.5%.
Meanwhile, the Beige Book showed eight out of 12 Federal Reserve districts reporting modest to moderate growth. However, the degree of optimism appears to be waning, in part due to financial market volatility and rising interest rates.
Investors also digested news that federal prosecutors have launched a probe into China’s Huawei Technologies for allegedly stealing trade secrets from US companies.
The ongoing US government shutdown – now in its 25th day – was also keeping investor enthusiasm in check.
In the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May’s government survived a vote of no confidence in parliament, a day after her proposed Brexit plan was overwhelmingly rejected by lawmakers.
Sears Holdings Corp. shares soared 56% after Chairman Eddie Lampert prevailed in a bankruptcy auction for the struggling department store chain with an improved takeover bid of roughly $5.2 billion.
Ford Motor Co. fell 6.2% after the auto maker said it expects adjusted earnings of $1.30 a share, compared with FactSet consensus of $1.33 a share.
Fiserv Inc. declined 3.3% after the company announced a deal to acquire First Data Corp. for $22 billion. First Data stock rallied 21%.
Nordstrom Inc. declined 4.8% after the retailer said on Tuesday that its full-year fiscal 2019 earnings would be at the low end of its previous guidance, citing weak holiday sales.
Shares of Charles Schwab Corp. rose 5.5% after the brokerage beat Wall Street estimates for earning and revenue in the fourth quarter.
In Asia, shares were trading mixed on Thursday in morning session amid strong quarterly earnings in the US and after the UK government won a parliamentary confidence vote.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 erased earlier gains to trade 0.34% lower, while the Topix index added 0.11%. In South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.03%. Australia’s benchmark ASX 200 added around 0.1%.
In China, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.23%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index decline 0.1%.