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Strong Health Care Earnings Push Indexes Near New Highs

Pinterest jumps 12.8% amid acquisition rumors
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 20, 2021 4:11 PM CDT
S&P 500 Closes a Point Short of Record High
Investors seem to be taking the impact from rising inflation on companies in stride, says Greg Bassuk, CEO at AXS Investments.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(Newser) – Solid earnings from health care companies helped send stocks higher on Wall Street Wednesday and pushed the benchmark S&P 500 to the brink of another record high. The market has been gaining ground as investors shift their focus to the latest round of corporate earnings. The S&P 500 rose 16.56 points, or 0.4%, to 4,536.19. It's the sixth straight gain for the benchmark index and puts it less than a point from the all-time high it set on Sept. 2, the AP reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 152.03 points, or 0.4%, to 35,609.34. The Nasdaq fell 7.41 points, or less than 0.1%, to 15,121.68.

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Wall Street cheered solid earnings from a variety of health care companies. Abbott Laboratories, which makes infant formula, medical devices, and drugs, rose 3.3% after handily beating analysts’ third-quarter profit forecasts. Health insurer Anthem rose 7.7% after also reporting strong financial results. "The reason we’re seeing this rally over the last week is that company earnings are looking really good," says Sylvia Jablonski, chief investment officer at Defiance ETFs. "Most companies are managing inflationary pressures and pricing issues and that's helping to alleviate concerns about overvaluation and inflation."

Technology stocks lagged the broader market. Netflix fell 2.2% after forecasting earnings for its current quarter that were below analysts’ estimates. PayPal fell 4.9% following reports that it is considering buying digital pinboard and shopping tool Pinterest, which jumped 12.8%. The price of Bitcoin rose above $66,000 for the first time. The gains came a day after the first exchange-traded fund linked to Bitcoin futures attracted huge interest from investors looking to get into the surging field of cryptocurrencies. (Read more stock market stories.)

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