Wall Street stocks posted their second straight daily gain on Wednesday, with robust corporate earnings and renewed optimism about the US economic recovery fueling a risk-on rally.
All three major US stock indexes added to their previous session's advance, placing all three within 1 percent of their all-time closing highs.
Economically sensitive smallcaps, semiconductors and financials outperformed the broader market.
"It’s a seesaw going on between great earnings and a recovering market and concerns over whether the economy is going to slow down because of the (Covid-19) Delta variant," said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. "But we’re seeing strong earnings with generally positive guidance, and the feeling that (the Delta variant) can be managed."
A rebound in travel helped fuel United Airlines' revenue beat, boosting its stock by 3.8 percent. The S&P 1500 Airlines index gained 3.3 percent, while the S&P 1500 Hotels, Restaurant and Leisure index advanced 2.9 percent.
"Earlier in the week those stocks suffered because of renewed fears that travel will slow down and all related industries will suffer, but those fears have gone away," Tuz added. "Demand is continuing as expected, I don’t think the Delta fear is causing people to change their plans."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.83 percent, to 34,798, the S&P 500 gained 0.82 percent, to 4,359 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.92 percent, to 14,632.
Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, energy stocks were the big winners, jumping 3.5 percent with the help of surging crude prices. (Reuters)