Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Wall Street gains ground after encouraging updates from GM and other companies

by BIZ Magazine

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose broadly in morning trading on Wall Street Wednesday following some encouraging updates from U.S. companies, including General Motors.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4%, finding upward momentum after two days of mostly listless trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 44 points, or 0.1%, to 35,465 as of 10:11 a.m. Eastern. The Nasdaq gained 0.5%.

General Motors surged 10.2%. The company announced a big stock buyback, raised its dividend and told investors it won’t have any trouble absorbing the costs of its new labor contract. GM and its rivals agreed to new contracts with the United Auto Workers and Canadian auto workers in late October following strikes that lasted more than a month.

Ford rose 3.4% and Jeep maker Stellantis rose 4.5%.

Technology companies were behind much of the gains following several strong financial updates. NetApp jumped 15% after easily beating analysts’ forecasts for earnings in its latest quarter and raising its outlook for the year. TurboTax maker Intuit rose 3.1% and software maker Workday gained 7% following encouraging results and forecasts.

Treasury yields fell, taking more pressure off of stocks. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences mortgage rates, slipped to 4.27% from 4.33%. The yield on the 2-year Treasury fell sharply to 4.63% from 4.75%.

Stocks rose in Europe and were mixed in Asia.

On the losing end, Spam maker Hormel foods fell 5.1% after giving investors a weak profit forecast.

Wall Street also received an encouraging economic update. The U.S. economy grew at a brisk 5.2% annual pace from July through September, the government reported Wednesday, an upgrade from its previous estimate of 4.9%.

Consumer spending, the lifeblood of the economy, rose at a 3.6% annual rate from July through September. That’s still healthy, but a downgrade from the previous estimate of 4%. The report follows an encouraging survey on consumer confidence released Tuesday.

Investors will get another key economic update on Thursday when the government releases its October data on the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation. Economists expect that measure to continue easing, as it has been since the middle of 2022. The Federal Reserve will meet again in December to update its interest rate policy.

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