By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The major averages closed at fresh record highs Tuesday, as investors digested mostly bullish quarterly results just as the Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day meeting.
The S&P 500 rose 0.37% at a closing record of 4,630.65. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.39%, or 138.79 points to close at a record of 36,052.63. The Nasdaq climbed 0.34% to a closing record of 15,649.60.
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) rallied 4%, after lifting its full-year guidance following third-quarter results that beat analysts’ consensus on both the top and bottom lines, driven by strong vaccine demand.
Investors are also awaiting news later Tuesday from a meeting of an advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on whether to expand vaccine eligibility to children of ages 5 to 11.
McKesson (NYSE:MCK) third-quarter results also topped Wall Street estimates and the drug distributor raised its full-year earnings guidance, sending its shares closed up nearly 6%.
Technology, meanwhile, shrugged off its sluggish start to the week to rack up gains amid a more than 1% move in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
Other big cap tech traded mixed as Facebook-parent Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:FB), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) fell.
Semiconductor also pushed the broader tech sector higher following stronger than expected results from Apple chip supplier On-Semiconductor.
ON Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:ON) rallied 4% to a record high after guiding fourth-quarter guidance on revenue and earnings above estimates. The upbeat results drew a flurry of positive commentary from Wall Street, with Baird raising its price target to $75 from $60.
Shares of Avis Budget (NASDAQ:CAR) more than doubled as its stronger quarterly earnings fueled positive upgrades from Wall Street. Morgan Stanley raised the firm’s price target on stock to to $140 from $110. The surge in Avis added more than 1,000 points to the Dow Jones Transportation.
But not all sectors were participating in the melt up on Wall Street, with energy and consumer discretionary in the red.
Consumer discretionary stocks were weighed down by a fall in Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) after its CEO Elon Musk appeared to cool some optimism on the Hertz order for 100,000 Tesla.
Under Amour eased some of losses in the sector after surging more than 16% after raising its full-year guidance amid quarterly results that topped analysts’ expectations.
Energy was down more 1% as oil prices drifted lower ahead of fresh weekly U.S. petroleum data expected to show a rise in crude stockpiles.
The 10-year Treasury yield, meanwhile, fell 2% as investors as the Fed kicked off its two-day meeting.
The Fed is expected to announce its taper on monthly bond purchases, and keep interest rate unchanged, but the central bank’s insight into inflation is expected to garner most of the attention.
Ahead of the Fed decision, investors see downside risks rather upside risks to equities.
“There is more risk to the downside for equities heading into the Fed decision,” Melissa Brown, managing director of applied research at Qontigo, told Investing.com on Tuesday. “Monthly data pointing to supply chain issues or that people don’t necessarily want to take up the jobs that are available has to lead to higher inflation.”
Still, risk sentiment remains intact as investors are shifting out of defensive corners of the market to riskier sectors like small cap and higher-valuation growth stocks.
“Investors seem to be moving now more away from the really defensive sectors or the defensive kind of styles and getting a little bolder,” Brown added.