US stocks close higher as rally continues, Dow up 0.8%

NEW YORK (AFP) – Wall Street climbed for a second consecutive day on Wednesday (July 21), reversing losses earlier in the week when resurging Covid-19 infections and inflation fears prompted a sharp sell-off.

Strong earnings from major US corporations fuelled the gains, which came after major indices rose about 1.5 per cent in Tuesday’s session, bouncing back from Monday’s rout that was the worst day of trading so far this year.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8 per cent to 34,797.93 at the close.

The broad-based S&P 500 also added 0.8 per cent to 4,358.66, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.9 per cent to end at 14,631.95.

Analysts at Charles Schwab investment bank said the fast-spreading Delta variant of Covid-19, which has prompted some US cities to reimpose mask requirements, “has added a layer of uncertainty to the back-half of 2021.”

But traders took heart from the latest round of healthy earnings reports, including from Coca-Cola, which gained 1.3 per cent after boosting its full-year forecasts following better-than-expected results in the second quarter tied to the restoration of businesses connected to professional sports and other live events.

Chipotle Mexican Grill jumped 11.5 per cent after it reported blowout results, with chief executive Brian Niccol predicting strong earnings “for many years to come.” Revenue surged nearly 40 per cent to US$1.9 billion (S$2.6 billion).

However, Netflix finished trading 3.3 per cent lower, after the streaming giant’s profits missed expectations and it projected disappointing subscriber additions in the current quarter.


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