By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — U.S. stock markets opened higher on Wednesday, in a modest rebound from their worst one-day loss in months on Tuesday.
However, the early bounce was less vigorous than the overnight rebound in index futures had indicated, suggesting that market participants remain essentially cautious, if not outright bearish, as the political theater in Washington DC over the federal government debt ceiling approaches its ritual climax.
By 9:40 AM ET (1340 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 66 points, or 0.2%, at 34,366 points. The S&P 500 was up 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.3%.
Earlier, Philadelphia Federal Reserve president Patrick Harker gave a reminder of what’s increasingly dominating the market’s thoughts, saying he would support a decision to start running down the Fed’s bond purchases in November and phase them out entirely by the middle of the year. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will likely repeat such sentiments in a panel discussion at 1145 AM ET (1645) hosted by the European Central Bank.
The megacaps that have supported the rally for most of the summer posted modest gains, with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock shrugging off a report of component shortages for its iPhone 13 suite to add 1.2%. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) stock and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) stock both rose 0.4%, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock rose 0.7% and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock rose 0.8%. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) stock’s rebound was supported by news that it has bought videogame maker Night School Studio in a further sign of it trying to diversify its revenue sources.
Lucid (NASDAQ:LCID) stock rose 13.4% on a report that the company will begin deliveries of its luxury electric sedans in October, a development that provides for more competition for Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) in the premium EV space. Earlier this week, the Special Purpose Acquisition Vehicle Gores Guggenheim announced plans to take Polestar, the EV unit of Volvo Cars, public through a merger.
Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) stock also gained over 12% after it announced plans to raise prices on selected items to as much as $1.50 to restore margins that have been hurt by higher purchasing costs. It also said it will increase the scope of its stock buyback program.
Pockets of weakness remained in the highly-valued tech sector, however. Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) stock fell 1.2% after its guidance for the current quarter disappointed, despite the fact that its fiscal fourth-quarter sales and earnings both beat expectations. The silicon chip sector, red hot through the first three quarters of the year due to pandemic-driven demand for devices, is starting to cool as signs of an end to supply-demand imbalance start to appear. Shares in ASML, the Dutch-based maker of high-end chipmaking equipment, continued to slide, although less sharply than earlier this week. ASML (NASDAQ:ASML) ADRs were down 0.3%.