Technology companies, banks lead gains for US stocks

FILE- In this Oct. 2, 2014, file photo, the Wall Street subway stop on Broadway, in New York's Financial District. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Richard Drew

Gains in technology, banks and industrial companies drove U.S. stocks higher Wednesday as investors sized up the latest company earnings news. Consumer goods companies lagged the most. The latest gains put the market on track to recoup some of its losses from a day earlier.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 14 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,731 as of 1:10 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 110 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,075. The Nasdaq added 53 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,288. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 15 points, or 1 percent, to 1,545.

THE QUOTE: "People are keeping a cautious eye on the bond market, but absent that, by and large things are going favorably," said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. "We're almost wrapped up with earnings season and that's come in really strong."

TECH BUMP: Gains in several technology companies helped lift the market in early trading. The sector has been leading the market's rebound following the plunge in stocks earlier this month. Google parent Alphabet picked up $22.82, or 2.1 percent, to $1,126.41. Facebook added $3.95, or 2.2 percent, to $179.96.

IN GEAR: Advance Auto Parts vaulted 10 percent after reporting better earnings than analysts were expecting. The stock was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, adding $10.58 to $115.93. Shares in rival auto parts retailer AutoZone also rose, climbing $7.37, or 1 percent, to $720.60.

ROOM TO GROW: Extra Space Storage added 1.4 percent after its results also came in ahead of forecasts. The stock rose $1.10 to $81.85.

RESTING EASY: La-Z-Boy jumped 9 percent after the furniture company had a better fourth quarter than analysts anticipated. The stock picked up $2.60 to $31.50.

STILL HURTING: Walmart shares continued to slide Wednesday, a day after posting its biggest single-day drop in 30 years. The stock lost $2.44, or 2.6 percent, to $91.67.

SAPPED: Devon Energy slid 8.6 percent after the energy company disclosed a smaller-than-expected profit and 2018 forecast that raised concerns with analysts. The stock gave up $2.98 to $31.67.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude slid 21 cents to $61.58 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 8 cents to $65.17 per barrel in London.

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BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.90 percent from 2.89 percent late Tuesday.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which is used as a benchmark for mortgages and other loans, has been rising in recent months from a low of 2.04 percent in September. Higher bond yields indicate investors expect more risk of inflation, and they also can threaten stock prices by making bonds more appealing versus stocks.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to $107.67 yen from 107.30 yen on Tuesday. The euro slipped to $1.2320 from $1.2336.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major indexes in Europe were mostly lower. Germany's DAX slipped 0.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 rose 0.2 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.5 percent. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.2 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.8 percent. Australia's S&P ASX 200 edged 0.1 percent higher. The Kospi in South Korea added 0.6 percent. India's Sensex gained 0.3 percent. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.

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