Wall St rallies 1% on upbeat earnings, tech strength

Wall St rallies 1% on upbeat earnings, tech strength © Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Devik Jain

(Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes rallied on Thursday as a surge in technology stocks and strong quarterly results helped investors to look away from inflation concerns.

The biggest boost came from growth names including Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:), Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:), Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) and Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:), which rose more than 1%.

Bank of America (NYSE:) gained 1.3% as its profit topped market expectations, helped by the release of reserves to cover loan losses.

UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:) jumped about 5% to top the and the Dow, after the health insurer raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast on strength from its Optum unit that manages drug benefits.

"Heading into this third quarter reporting period, the market was experiencing weakness ... a lot of analysts were worried that earnings might end up disappointing," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.

"This could be the buy the dip, we are in the beginning of what is traditionally a seasonally favorable period for the market. We could end up with a nice run between now and the end of the year."

Analysts expect corporate America to report strong quarterly profit growth and will focus on commentary from companies on how they are going to battle rising costs, labor shortages and supply chain disruptions.

Meanwhile, data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell close to a 19-month low last week, while a separate report showed producer prices accelerated 8.6% in the 12 months through September.

The reports come a day after consumer prices rose solidly in September, which further strengthened case for a interest-rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

St. Louis Fed Bank President James Bullard said his outlook for U.S. economy is pretty bullish, while putting a 50% chance on high levels of inflation persisting.

At 10:09 a.m. ET, the was up 385.38 points, or 1.12%, at 34,763.19, the S&P 500 was up 54.02 points, or 1.24%, at 4,417.82, and the was up 198.90 points, or 1.36%, at 14,770.53.

All of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced in early trading, with healthcare and technology leading the gains.

Banking stocks came under pressure as investment bank Morgan Stanley (NYSE:), Wells Fargo (NYSE:) and Citigroup (NYSE:) slipped despite reporting strong quarterly performances.

Domino's Pizza (NYSE:) Inc slipped 1.5% after the pizza chain reported a surprise drop in U.S. same-store sales on a slowdown in demand for deliveries.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 5.48-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and 3.24-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 26 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 46 new highs and 12 new lows.

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