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Stock Market News for Oct 21, 2021

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The Dow and the S&P 500 ended near an all-time high on Wednesday, lifted by the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book report that points to a modest growth pace of the US economy, and upbeat third-quarter earnings report. However, the Nasdaq ended in the red, weighed down by 10-year Treasury yield climbing above 1.6% and pressurizing yield-sensitive stocks.

How Did the Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 152.03 points, or 0.4%, to close at 35,609.34, and hit an intraday record high of 35,669.69. The blue-chip index rallied on an upbeat third-quarter corporate earnings report and UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH - Free Report) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) were the highest gainers closing around 2.4% higher for the session. UnitedHealth Group carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The S&P 500 rose 16.56 points, or 0.4%, to close at 4,536.19 on Wednesday. Eight of the 11 major sectors of the broader index closed in the green led by at least 1.5% gain in utilities, real estate and health sectors. However, the Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 15,121.68, after declining 7.41 points, or 0.1%, snapping its fifth straight winning streak, led by 4.9% decline in share of PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL - Free Report) .

On Wednesday, the fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 1.3%, to close at 15.49. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.29-to-1 ratio. A total of 9.29 billion shares were traded yesterday, lower than the last 20-session average of 10.26 billion.

Fed’s Beige Book Shows Modest Economic Growth

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve reported that the U.S. economy is still growing at a solid pace, however, the labor shortages and supply-chain hurdles are holding back economic growth and setting off inflation to trend higher. The Fed’s report highlights that outlook for near-term economic activity remained positive, even though economic growth decelerated to a “modest to moderate” pace in September and early October.

Upbeat Q3 Earnings Report Roll-On

On Wednesday, corporate bigwigs continue to report third-quarter 2021 earnings report, and the better-than-expected reports boosted investors’ sentiments and made them overlook concerns revolving around higher inflation and labor shortages

Verizon reported third-quarter 2021 earnings of $1.41 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.36. The upbeat results were driven by strength across core business verticals and strong demand for seamless broadband connectivity, Verizon recorded healthy wireless service revenue growth and solid performance within the fiber optic service (Fios) unit. In fact, total quarterly operating revenues increased 4.3% year over year to $32,915 million. (Read More)

Shares of Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Free Report) jumped 3.3% after the company reported third-quarter 2021 of $1.40 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 92 cents. In the third quarter, Established Pharmaceuticals Division (EPD) sales improved 15.1% on a reported basis to $1.27 billion. Organic sales in key emerging markets also improved 17.9% year over year. (Read More)

Health insurance provider Anthem, Inc. (ANTM - Free Report) also reported third-quarter 2021 earnings of $6.79 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6.35. The company’s bottom line also increased 61.7% year over year. Anthem’s shares jumped 7.7% on Wednesday. (Read More)

Earlier on Tuesday, Netflix, Inc. (NFLX - Free Report) reported upbeat third-quarter 2021 earnings after market close, but shares failed to ascend yesterday and closed 2.2% lower. The streaming giant reported earnings of $3.19 per share beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.56 and revenues of $7.48 billion, increasing 16.3% year over year. Netflix added 4.38 million paid subscribers globally beating its guidance of 3.5 million paid-subscriber addition. Money Heist and Squid Game were the drivers to the subscription growth among many others. (Read More)

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