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Dow rises 285 points for 2nd straight daily gain as focus shifts away from growth worries to earnings season

Upbeat earnings views from Coca-Cola and Verizon helped improved investor sentiment after this week's rout. ...
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Stocks are on the mend following pullbacks from record highs.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 285 points to extend a relief rally on Wednesday.
  • The S&P 500 also rose and the Nasdaq Composite pushed through early weakness.
  • Johnson & Johnson was among the Dow stocks that raised its annual earnings guidance.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

US stocks closed higher Wednesday, led by blue-chips as many corporate behemoths upgraded financial guidance, though questions linger about global economic recovery as COVID-19 infections rise.

The Nasdaq Composite overcame earlier weakness while the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 285 points to advance for a second straight day of gains. The Dow was helped by shares of Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and Verizon which rose after each company raised their financial guidance and posted quarterly results that beat analyst expectations.

Stocks extended Tuesday's rebound from a rout in the previous session that was triggered by reports about mounting coronavirus cases worldwide. Retail investors buying the dip in shares on Monday purchased a record $2.2 billion of equities.

Wednesday's "trade is a natural reaction to such a violent move on Friday and on Monday… but I'd steer clear of drawing any conclusions that say in today's trading, "All is well," Keith Buchanan, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments, told Insider. "We still have to see a lot more from a data perspective to reassure this market that the reopening and progress towards the new normal of economic conditions and consumer behavior are still on track."

Here's where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday:

Investors have been skittish about COVID-related developments, including a stall in vaccination rates in the US while the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus is responsible for an estimated 83% of all new cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also key for the direction of markets is the outlook on inflation given that consumer and wholesales prices have shot up to multi-year highs.

"It's paramount that investors have a clear understanding of what corporations are dealing with from a supply-shortage standpoint and how that's developing, what they're having to pay in order to get their products out to market," and other cost factors including labor and whether they can pass price increases to their customers, said Buchanan.

Around the markets, Cathie Wood has added to her bitcoin exposure with another purchase of shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust after the cryptocurrency fell below $30,000 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, legendary investor Jeremy Grantham said the stock and cryptocurrency markets are in bubbles worse than in 2000.

Ulta will open mini-shops at 100 Target stores next month, the biggest cosmetics retailer in the US said Wednesday.

JPMorgan Chase handed Jamie Dimon a stock award potentially worth millions if he stays CEO for at least five more years.

Gold slipped by 0.3%, to $1,804.30 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields edged up, with the 10-year yield at 1.28%.

Oil prices jumped, pushing past weekly US data showing an unexpected climb of 2.1 million barrels in crude supplies. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 4.3%, to $70.31 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, gained 4.2%, to $72.25 per barrel.

Bitcoin surged 6.6%, to $31,763.61.

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