Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Wednesday, driving the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes to more record highs.
Technology stocks powered much of the rally as investors focused on the latest batch of mostly solid company earnings reports. The latest gains came as worries about the economic impact of the virus outbreak that originated in China continued to subside.
Health officials raised hopes that the spread of the virus is peaking after new cases dropped for a second straight day. Worries about the economic impact of the outbreak fueled a wave of selling that erased the market’s gains in January, but traders have since largely set aside their jitters.
The S&P 500 index is up 4.8% so far this month, on pace for its biggest monthly gain since June.
“You have the continuing good news on the coronavirus potentially slowing and being under control, and that’s obviously powerful,” said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager with Globalt Investments.
The S&P 500 index rose 21.70 points, or 0.6%, to 3,379.45. The Nasdaq climbed 87.02 points, or 0.9%, to 9,725.96. Both indexes have set all-time closing highs every day this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 275.08 points, or 0.9%, to 29,551.42. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 11.86 points, or 0.7%, to 1,689.38.
Major indexes in Europe and Asia finished higher.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.63% from 1.59% late Tuesday.
Stronger-than-expected company earnings reports and positive U.S. economic data have helped keep investors in a buying mood. Traders are also banking that central banks and governments around the world will support markets with rate cuts and stimulus to stem any potential economic fallout from the virus outbreak.
Investors got some encouraging news Wednesday when health officials reported that the number of new cases of the coronavirus in China declined for a second straight day. The outbreak has infected over 45,000 people worldwide and killed more than 1,100.