U.S. Stocks Tick Higher as Investors Weigh Earnings

By Amrith Ramkumar and Riva Gold Features Dow Jones Newswires

Major indexes close at all-time highs

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-- Bank shares under pressure

-- Snap shares fall after earnings

Major U.S. stock indexes posted another trifecta of records Wednesday.

Many investors say solid profit growth and a U.S. economy that is picking up steam should continue supporting major indexes moving forward.

"The fundamental backdrop is pretty good," said Mark Heppenstall, chief investment officer at Penn Mutual Asset Management. "Investors are looking beyond any of the potential bumps in the road at this point," he said.

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The S&P 500 rose 3.74 points, or 0.1%, to 2594.38 after snapping a five-session winning streak Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 6.13 points, or less than 0.1%, to 23563.36 in a seventh straight session of gains, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 21.34 points, or 0.3%, to 6789.12.

Roughly 87% of S&P 500 companies have reported third-quarter results as of Wednesday's market close, with about three-quarters of them beating earnings expectations, according to FactSet. Per-share earnings at the firms have grown about 6.4% in the third quarter from the year-earlier period.

"That's a deceleration from what we've had, but for 2018, I don't think people are backing off what we project," said Jeremy Bryan, a portfolio manager at Gradient Investments.

Apple hit another milestone Wednesday, becoming the first public U.S. company to ever reach a market value of $900 billion after the company reported its best quarterly growth in two years last week. Shares rose $1.43, or 0.8%, to an all-time high of $176.24 Wednesday.

Shares of Snap fell 2.21, or 15%, to 12.91 after its latest results fell short of expectations late Tuesday. Its loss more than tripled, as quarter-over-quarter growth in daily active users of social-media app Snapchat was the slowest since the company started reporting the metric. Snap disclosed Wednesday that Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings bought a 12% stake.

Bank shares continued to lag behind Wednesday, hit by a shrinking gap between short and long-dated bond yields. The S&P 500 financial sector fell 0.6%. Banks earn money on the difference between what they pay on deposits and what they charge to lend money.

Long-dated bond yields have come under modest pressure in recent sessions amid concerns that disagreements could force the GOP to make changes to its tax bill and slow down plans to pass it by the year's end.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.325% Wednesday from 2.309%, ending a four-session streak of yield declines.

Earlier, the Stoxx Europe 600 declined less than 0.1%. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average edged down 0.1% from a near 26-year high and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 0.3%.

Write to Amrith Ramkumar at amrith.ramkumar@wsj.com and Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 08, 2017 17:33 ET (22:33 GMT)