Stocks close mostly higher on Wall Street, but tech lags

Stocks closed mostly higher on Wall Street Wednesday, marking more records for the S&P; 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Pullbacks in some technology stocks helped pull the Nasdaq composite slightly lower. The S&P; 500 climbed 0.2% and the Dow added 0.6%. Investors got some better news on inflation when the Labor Department reported that consumer prices rose 0.5% from June to July, down from the previous monthly increase of 0.9%. Energy prices rose, sending the price of benchmark U.S. crude oil up 1.4%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 1.33%.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Stocks were mostly higher Wednesday, pushing beyond the records they had set a day earlier on the back of strong earnings and better-than-expected economic data.

The S&P; 500 index rose 0.2% as of 2:14 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 210 points, or 0.6%, to 35,475 and the Nasdaq composite was down 0.3%.

Banks made some of the strongest gains after bond yields initially edged higher, which benefits lenders because it allows them to charge higher interest on loans. Bond yields eased back by mid-afternoon. After reaching 1.36% in the early going, the yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.33% from 1.34% late Tuesday. Bank of America rose 0.9%.

Industrial stocks also made solid gains and helped counter a drop in technology and health care companies.

Traders got a dose of decent economic news Wednesday. A report from the Labor Department showed that consumer prices jumped 0.5% from June to July, down from the previous monthly increase of 0.9%. Year over year, consumer prices have increased a substantial 5.4%.

While the headline figures may seem bad, most of the rise in consumer prices has been tied to very specific goods that are not expected to impact the long-term health of the economy, like used cars, building materials and hotel rooms. These items came into short supply during the pandemic, and the increased economic activity has made prices for those items rise faster than usual.

The Federal Reserve has repeatedly said it believes any increase in inflation would be temporary and largely a result of the supply disruptions that happened because of the pandemic.

Investors had a mix of earnings and corporate news to review. Coinbase, a platform where traders can buy and sell digital currencies like Bitcoin, rose 2.8% after reporting strong growth in the last quarter.

Weight-loss program operator WW International plunged 25.5% after reporting disappointing second-quarter financial results, while hamburger chain Wendy’s rose 2.9% after raising its profit forecast for the year and increasing its dividend.

Online auction and retail giant eBay will report its results after the closing bell Wednesday.


AP Economics Writer Christopher Rugaber contributed to this report from Washington.

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