Home Editor's Picks US stocks rise, rebounding after rate-driven losses with earnings in focus

US stocks rise, rebounding after rate-driven losses with earnings in focus


Investing.com – U.S. stocks rose Wednesday, steadying after raised Middle East tensions and fears of higher-for-longer interest rates sparked a series of steep losses. 

At 09:35 ET (13:35 GMT), Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 150 points, or 0.4%, S&P 500 rose 18 points, or 0.4% and NASDAQ Composite rose 66 points, or 0.4%.

Quarterly earnings season continues 

The main indices have bounced Wednesday after recent losses, with investors focusing on the ongoing earnings season.

United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) stock rose almost 7% after the carrier forecast stronger-than-expected earnings in the current quarter, as well as reporting a narrower-than-expected loss in the first quarter, on robust demand for travel.

On the flip side, Travelers (NYSE:TRV) stock fell almost 7% after the insurer announced a sharp rise in catastrophe losses, net of reinsurance, up to $712 million from $535 million a year earlier, due to severe wind and hail storms in the central and eastern regions of the United States.

JB Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) stock fell over 6% after the trucking firm missed estimates for first-quarter results, hurt by a decline in revenue in its biggest segment and pricing pressures at its brokerage business.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) fell 2% despite the medical devices maker beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit and raised the lower end of its full-year forecast on strong sales of its products.

ASML (NASDAQ:ASML) ADRs fell over 4% after the largest supplier of equipment to computer chip makers reported weaker than expected first-quarter new bookings, although sales to China held up despite U.S.-led restrictions.

Risk sentiment hit by Powell, Middle East tensions

The main Wall Street indices have sunk between 1.5% and 2.3% over the past five sessions, hit by the heightened geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, after Iran launched a drone and missile strike against Israel, as well as Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaling that recent signs of sticky inflation gave the central bank less confidence to cut interest rates early.

Powell’s comments came following hotter-than-expected inflation and retail sales readings for March, which indicated that inflation was likely to remain well above levels the Fed was comfortable with. This also saw traders largely price out expectations for a June rate cut. 

Crude falls after rise in US inventories 

Crude prices retreated Wednesday as a rise in U.S. commercial stockpiles created concerns about future demand.

By 09:35 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 1.2% lower at $84.36 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 1.2% to $88.93 per barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute suggested that U.S crude inventories rose just over 4 million barrels last week, much more than expectations for a build of 600,000 barrels.

The build, released on Tuesday, came after a 3 million barrel rise in the prior week, and was largely driven by U.S. production remaining at record highs above 13 million barrels per day. 

The official U.S. inventory data, from the Energy Information Administration, is due later in the day. 

Oil prices soared last week to the highest levels since October, as the prospect of a bigger conflict in the Middle East, especially between Iran and Israel, sparked bets of supply disruptions in the region. 

(Ambar Warrick contributed to this article.)

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