(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were mostly higher on Wednesday in afternoon trading, led by gains in the Nasdaq and shares of big growth names including Amazon.com and Microsoft.
The S&P 500 briefly added to gains following the release of minutes from the September Federal Reserve policy meeting.
The minutes showed U.S. central bankers signaled they could start reducing crisis-era support for the economy in mid-November, though they remained divided over how much of a threat high inflation poses and how soon they may need to raise interest rates.
Earlier, a Labor Department report showed consumer prices increased solidly in September, further strengthening the case for a Fed interest-rate hike.
JPMorgan Chase & Co fell 2.7% and was among the biggest drags on the Dow and S&P 500 even though its third-quarter earnings beat expectations, helped by global dealmaking boom and release of more loan loss reserves.
“The market is in a show-me phase” with earnings, said Jim Awad, senior managing director at Clearstead Advisors LLC in New York.
“My hope is that stronger-looking guidance” will help to support prices, he said.
Mega-caps growth names including Amazon.com Inc, Google-parent Alphabet and Microsoft Corp all rose.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 54.74 points, or 0.16%, to 34,323.6, the S&P 500 gained 4.56 points, or 0.10%, to 4,355.21 and the Nasdaq Composite added 69.98 points, or 0.48%, to 14,535.90.
BlackRock Inc rose 3.7% after the world’s largest money manager beat quarterly profit estimates as an improving economy helped boost its assets under management, driving up fee income.
Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley will report results on Thursday, while Goldman Sachs will publish earnings on Friday.
Analysts expect corporate America to report strong profit growth in the third quarter at a time when worries about supply chain problems and higher prices are affecting businesses emerging from the pandemic.
Among other stocks, Apple Inc fell 0.8% after a report said the iPhone marker was planning to cut production of its iPhone 13.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.50-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.17-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 6 new 52-week highs and 8 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 46 new highs and 50 new lows.
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