US stocks gain on earnings despite mixed economic data

People walk near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at Wall Street on July 15, 2021 in New York City. — AFP pic
People walk near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at Wall Street on July 15, 2021 in New York City. — AFP pic

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NEW YORK, Oct 28 — Wall Street stocks resumed their upward climb early today following a stream of mostly strong earnings from Merck, Caterpillar and others as investors shrugged off a lacklustre US growth report.

Shares of Ford jumped 12.6 per cent while Merck won 4.2 per cent following the latest round of earnings in a week jammed with results. Apple and Amazon report later today.

Those upbeat reports overshadowed data showing the US economy grew by just two per cent in the third quarter, down from the 6.7 per cent annual rate in the prior quarter as resurgent Covid-19 infections slowed consumer activity.

But a note from Schwab described the US growth data as “backward-looking,” adding that it was offset by “more timely” jobless claims data that improved.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5 per cent at 35,670.24.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.6 per cent to 4,580.02, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also climbed 0.6 per cent to 15,331.33.

Markets are monitoring ongoing talks in Washington, where congressional Democrats are struggling to reach an agreement on President Joe Biden’s infrastructure and social spending legislation. — AFP

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