U.S. stocks were trading higher early Wednesday morning after indexes recorded their biggest one-day gains in nearly a month Tuesday when investors reacted positively to a fresh batch of company earnings reports.
The S&P 500 added 105.84 points, or 2.8%, to end the day at 3936.69. The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite gained 353.10 points, or 3.1%, to 11713.15 , and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 754.44 points, or 2.4%, to 31827.05.
All three indexes logged their biggest one-day point and percentage gains since June 24. They have risen more than 6% from their lows in mid-June but remain down sharply for the year.
Investors are parsing earnings reports to determine how decades-high inflation is affecting corporate profits and consumer spending. Economists have been raising the estimated chances of a U.S. recession within the next 12 months, worried that the higher interest rates put in place by the Federal Reserve to curb inflation will weigh on growth.
Some investors, though, are on the lookout for signs from executives that the economic picture might not be as dark as feared.
“When you look at what’s happening in the real economy through the lens of our customers, I’d say it’s less than 50/50 that we end up with a recession at this point,” said Bruce Van Saun, CEO of Citizens Financial Group, which reported earnings that beat expectations Tuesday.
Investors see bank earnings as a good way to determine the path of the broader economy, since their businesses closely track the health of consumers and businesses.
Toy company Hasbro rose 0.7% after it reported stronger profit than analysts expected. Oilfield services provider Halliburton added 2.1% after its profit and revenue topped forecasts.
Netflix jumped 8% in after-hours trading after the company reported better-than expected results and a smaller subscriber loss than analysts had feared.
Twitter rose 2.8% after a court in Delaware agreed to quickly schedule a lawsuit that could force billionaire Elon Musk to make good on his agreement to buy the company.
Meanwhile, Asian shares advanced Wednesday as Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 jumped 2.5% to 27,631.50 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 2% to 21,068.85.
In Seoul, the Kospi added 1% to 2,395.19. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.7% to 6,765.00, while the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.7% to 3,301.25.
Shares also rose in India and Taiwan.
China’s central bank kept its loan prime rate steady despite the latest data showing a significant slowdown in growth in the past quarter, when pandemic-related shutdowns in many cities idled businesses and other activity.