The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) advanced for a fourth session in a row on Wednesday, helped by higher oil prices and on the heels of Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s careful approach to hiking interest rates.
The Dow Jones index added as many as 157 points before paring gains to trade at 17,726.29, up 93 points, at 12:04 p.m. in New York, with Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) contributing the most to gains. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones 26 to 4. The DJIA showed 8 new 52-week highs.
Apple gained 1.5% to $109.26. Cowen & Co. upgraded the world’s largest technology company to “outperform” from “market perform,” saying year-over-year comparable sales and forward earnings estimates have bottomed out.
Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) fell one percent to $129.49, reversing an earlier gain. The plane making giant will cut more than 4,500 jobs, in is ongoing effort to slash the cost of producing jetliners.
The S&P 500 advanced 0.6% to 2,066.53, while the tech heavy NASDAQ Composite increased 0.5% to 4,871.56.
May crude was up 1.6% at $38.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil increased after the U.S Energy Information Administration reported a 2.3 million-barrel rise in crude-oil supplies for the week ended March 25.
In an address to The Economic Club of New York on Tuesday, Yellen said it is appropriate to proceed cautiously in adjusting policy, given that economic readings are mixed.
“The future path of the federal funds rate is necessarily uncertain because economic activity and inflation will likely evolve in unexpected ways,” she said, pointing to risks to the economic outlook from global developments, particularly continued uncertainty around China, the world’s second-largest economy.
Ahead of Friday’s key employment report, data showed on Wednesday that private companies added 200,000 new positions created in March, a modest deceleration from the prior month’s revised 205,000 and roughly in line with expectations.
Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC) jumped more than four percent to hit a fresh 52-week high of $33.85. The restaurant chain reported a 41% surge in second-quarter profit, boosted by continued strong sales. The company also raised its earnings outlook.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) slid 3.1% to $28.08, reversing an earlier gain. The company launched a credit facility amendment.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) soared 9.5% to $67.04 as fourth-quarter profit topped market expectations.
The Dow Jones index is up 1.9% this year after erasing all losses it incurred during the first seven weeks of this year. The DJIA is just 3.3% below its all-time high recorded on May 19.