Stocks rose Tuesday and rebounded from a troubled week as investors digested the new earnings season’s results and signals of yet another big stimulus and a faster pace of vaccine distribution.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 150 points, or 0.5%. The S&P 500 rose 0.7%, led by communications services, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.1%.
Goldman Sachs shares erased previous gains, most recently trading 1.5% lower as traders took profits after the bank beat fourth-quarter earnings and sales expectations. The blowout results were based on the strong performance of stock traders and investment bankers.
Bank of America rose 1% after the bank posted quarterly results that exceeded expectations. However, sales were slightly below estimates.
In the first week of earnings season, there was a historically high proportion of Beats, with 88% of S&P 500 companies above EPS estimates, according to Bank of America.
While the earnings cycle started off strong, many on Wall Street believe that fourth quarter earnings have been priced in, and the market is focused on the outlook for 2021 and the final size of the fiscal stimulus that would translate into earnings growth.
“We expect investors to review the fourth quarter results and focus on company comments on how the rebound is progressing in 2021,” said David Kostin, head of US equity strategy at Goldman, in a note. “With investors in mind through 2021, politics remains a major driver of corporate earnings.”
Janet Yellen, Joe Biden’s nominee for Treasury Secretary and former Federal Reserve chairman, appeared before the Senate Treasury Committee Tuesday. Yellen’s prepared remarks call on the federal government to put in a big incentive to support business.
“Neither the president-elect, nor I are proposing this bailout without appreciating the country’s debt burden. But with interest rates at historic lows, it is smartest to act big right now,” Yellen said in prepared remarks. “I believe the benefits will far outweigh the costs, especially when it comes to helping people who have had problems for a long time.”
Stocks are “likely to trend higher again after a healthy consolidation ends,” Fundstrat’s Tom Lee wrote in a note citing an increase in vaccination rates and an eventual rollover in coronavirus cases.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Biden’s election to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Sunday she was confident the U.S. will have enough vaccine doses to meet the new administration’s goal of 100 million people in 100 days vaccinate.
“The early stages of vaccine introduction have been slower than expected as a more infectious strain of virus is spreading, but we do not see this materially changing the cumulative economic impact of the virus shock,” Jean Boivin, director of BlackRock Investment Institute, said in a note.
Tuesday’s gains came after stocks fell last week. The S&P 500 lost 1.5% for its first weekly loss in three years, while the Dow and Nasdaq Composite lost 0.9% and 1.5%, respectively, and both had their first negative week in five years.
The market fell last week when Biden unveiled its $ 1.9 trillion plan for economic relief as the country tries to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Biden is slated to be inaugurated with the National Guard in Washington on Wednesday after security concerns rose following a January 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol.
The US stock market closed on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.