U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, led by the Nasdaq, as investors begin to digest the big tech earnings bonanza that began this week.
The S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) were up about 0.2% at the opening bell. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) climbed 0.91%.
Government bonds were mixed. The yield on 10-year bonds slipped to 3.39%, while yields on rate-sensitive two-year bonds also fell to 3.88% on Wednesday morning.
Tech giants Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOGL) both reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the final quarter after Tuesday’s close.
Microsoft (MSFT) rebounded more than 7% on Wednesday morning after the software giant reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that beat estimates, indicating growing strength in its AI and cloud businesses. Microsoft earned $2.45 per share, on revenue of $52.9 billion, versus earnings of $2.22 per share, on sales of $49.4 billion during the period of the previous year.
Microsoft’s potential acquisition of Activision Blizzard (ATVI) suffered a setback on Wednesday morning, however, as UK regulators blocked the deal over fears of competition. Activision stock fell around 9% on Wednesday morning.
Alphabet (GOOGL, GOOG) Q1 revenue showed a 2% increase in search revenue, well below the corresponding quarters of the past two years. Meanwhile, Bing app installs quadrupled after being boosted by AI. The shares rose slightly at the start of the trading session.
Meta (META) revenue is up after Wednesday’s bell, while Amazon (AMZN) reports Thursday.
Tech stocks have fueled the equity rally so far this year, but some analysts expect the sector to come under selling pressure as it falters. Investors remain concerned that earnings growth expectations will be lower, prompting some market strategists to price in a pullback that has yet to materialize.
Separately, on the banking front, PacWest Bancorp (PACW) reported post-close earnings that beat EPS estimates, pushing the stock higher on Tuesday.
The action in the banking sector follows First Republic Bank (FRC) shares falling nearly 50% after the regional lender reported a bigger-than-expected drop in deposits on Monday. The bank plans to sell assets, Bloomberg reported, following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and turmoil in the industry. The First Republic looked to extend its rout on Wednesday as it fell about 15% on Wednesday morning.
First Republic’s drastic drop on Tuesday sent the KBW regional banking index tumbling to its lowest level since November 2020.
In the meantime, consumption remains in good shape despite a slowdown in inflation. Visa (V) on Tuesday reported earnings that beat revenue and earnings expectations for its latest quarter, which showed a continued rebound in international travel from the pandemic.
Elsewhere, mortgage applications to buy a home rose for the second time in the past three weeks, signaling a stabilization in the housing market, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association weekly survey. Other data released on Wednesday showed that orders for U.S. manufactured goods rebounded in March on new contracts for passenger planes.
Dani Romero is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @daniromerotv
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