By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com — The Dow closed higher Wednesday as tech and consumer discretionary stocks chalked up gains to offset a stumble in financials after JPMorgan kicked off the quarterly earnings season with underwhelming results.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1%, or 344 points, the S&P 500 rose 1%, and the Nasdaq added 2%.
Technology was in the ascendency, supported by rising megacap stocks, with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), both up more than 2% leading the charge as Treasury yields slipped for a second-straight day.
Chip stocks were also doing the heavy lifting for the tech sector, led by Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) after New Street Research upgraded the chipmaker to buy from neutral and raised its price target on the stock $280 from $255, citing the strength of its data center business.
Sentiment in the sector was also boosted by Bloomberg data showing that investors have been piling into chip stocks. Investor inflows into semiconductor ETFs jumped to $6.8 billion, topping the $5.2 billion of inflows seen in all of 2021.
Consumer discretionary stocks were also among the sectors leading the broader market higher, underpinned by a rally in travel-related stocks including Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR), and Carnival (NYSE:CCL), after better than feared results from Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) pointed to strong travel demand.
Delta forecast a return to profit in the second quarter after reporting a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss.
Financials, however, bucked the trend higher, ending the day marginally lower amid pressure from a 3% decline in JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM).
JPMorgan reported first-quarter earnings fell short of Wall Street estimates owing to higher than expected provisions for bad debt, with the bank citing “higher probabilities of downside risk.”
Citigroup (NYSE:C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:NYSE:GS), Wells Fargo (NYSE:NYSE:WFC), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:NYSE:MS), which all report on Thursday, ended mixed.
Asset management firm BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) reported quarterly results that beat expectations on both the top and bottom lines, supported by a jump in assets under management.
Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) cut intraday losses to trade about 1% lower after posting a surprise quarterly loss as rising shipping costs weighed.
Energy stocks were boosted by ongoing climb in the oil prices after The International Energy Agency forecast a slight deficit in supplies this year amid weaker demand and the impact of sanctions on Russia oil.
The forecast of a deficit comes in the wake of the weekly data showing U.S. crude stockpiles rose by a more than expected 9.4 million barrels last week.
APA (NASDAQ:APA), Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN), and Hess (NYSE:HES) were among the biggest gainers in the sector.
In other news, Gap (NYSE:GPS) jumped 8.4% following a report that the retailer has attracted attention from activist investors.