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U.S. stocks traded higher Wednesday as investors took in a host of quarterly earnings results and looked ahead to more data.
The S&P 500 and Dow gained to extend advances from the previous session. The Nasdaq also rose even as Netflix (NFLX) shares slumped after the company posting an unexpected decline in quarterly subscriber numbers.
Netflix’s disappointing results and guidance came in the midst of an earnings season that has so far been mixed. Earlier Tuesday, Hasbro (HAS) shares gained after the company raised its margin guidance and announced new price increases to counter rising costs. Other closely watched companies missed on major metrics or guidance, however, with Lockheed Martin (LMT) posting a year-over-year revenue decline that sent shares lower following its Tuesday report, and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) cutting its full-year profit forecast.
And last week, the big banks posted tepid quarterly results, with financials posting their weakest start to an earnings season since the first quarter of 2020, according to Bank of America data. Just over one-third of the 11 financial names that reported results in the past week topped analyst estimates on both sales and earnings per share, analysts at Bank of America said in a note.
Overall, investors this earnings season have been closely attuned to how companies have performed in the face of rampant inflationary pressures, as prices rise at their fastest rates in 40 years. While many companies have opted to raise their own prices to help offset increasingly expensive commodities, transportation and other inputs, questions remain over how long consumers will be willing to continue paying passed-on costs.
And against this backdrop, many strategists are warnings investors to continue bracing for further volatility.
“Volatility works both ways,” said Steve Sosnick, Interactive Brokers chief strategist, told Yahoo Finance Live. He added that Tuesday’s marked move to the upside was simply “socially acceptable volatility.”
“It’s volatility in the right direction,” he said. “But we’re going to have to get used to bigger moves in both directions. And not only single day moves, but sort of multi-day runs.”
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