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Tech companies lead US stocks broadly higher

Tech companies lead US stocks broadly higher

April 11th, 2019 by the Associated Press in Business

FILE- In this Feb. 12, 2019, file photo specialist Patrick King, left, works with traders at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 10. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street on Wednesday as solid gains by technology companies helped the market recoup some of its losses from a day earlier.

Small-company stocks also stood out, beating the rest of the market. Banks, retailers and homebuilders also notched gains. Utilities were the biggest laggard.

Investors appeared to welcome new insights from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting of policymakers. The central bank released the minutes from the two-day March meeting, which showed that a majority of Fed officials believed the central bank could keep interest rates unchanged the rest of this year.

The rally was a reversal for the market following a slide on Tuesday that ended an eight-day winning streak as investors turned their attention to the next wave of corporate earnings.

The S&P 500 index rose 10.01 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,888.21.

The 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered from an early slide to gain 6.58 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 26,157.16.

The Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, added 54.97 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,964.24.

Small-company stocks, which investors tend to favor when they’re feeling bullish about the economy, rose more than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 picked up 21.87 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,581.55.

Major indexes in Europe finished mostly higher.

Despite a downturn in stocks on Tuesday, the broader market has been steadily gaining in 2019. The S&P 500 is up 15.2 percent for the year.

Bond prices rose, sending yields lower, after the government reported a key measure of consumer price inflation remained in check last month. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which is used to set interest rates on mortgages and many other kinds of loans, fell to 2.47 percent from 2.50 percent late Tuesday.

Traders turned their attention Wednesday to corporate earnings, as Delta Air Lines kicked off the first-quarter earnings reporting season. The company’s results easily beat forecasts, sending its shares and those of other big airlines higher.

Levi Strauss also gained 4 percent after swinging to a quarterly profit in its first period since becoming a publicly traded company again.

Analysts expect first-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 index to contract for the first time in nearly three years and are closely tracking forecasts for the remainder of the 2019.