Market Coverage: Wednesday February 2 Yahoo Finance

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Stocks were mixed Wednesday as investors mulled a fresh batch of earnings results from some major index components and tried to further shake off January’s volatility. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose.

A spate of better-than-expected corporate earnings helped offset some more concerning signs of an Omicron-induced slowdown in growth at the start of the year. ADP reported Wednesday morning that private-sector U.S. employers cut 301,000 jobs in January, marking the first decline since December 2020.

Shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) jumped after the tech juggernaut topped quarterly sales and profit estimates and announced a 20-for-1 stock split. The move may make the stock currently trading at more than $3,000 per share more accessible and attractive to additional investors. Shares of other ad-driven internet technology companies including Meta (FB) and Pinterest (PINS) also gained in late trading following Alphabet’s earnings results.

AMD (AMD) shares also soared after quarterly results beat estimates on nearly every major metric, suggesting it was taking more market share from chip competitors and navigating ongoing components shortages. Starbucks (SBUX) declined as quarterly profits missed estimates, however, and PayPal (PYPL) shares sank after delivering guidance that fell short compared to Wall Street’s expectations.

This week’s slate of earnings results has helped provide a fresh catalyst to markets after a weak January performance. Results from other major companies including Meta, Spotify (SPOT) and Qualcomm (QCOMM) are due out on Wednesday. The S&P 500 closed out Tuesday’s regular trading day higher for a third straight session, kicking off February on a high note after posting its worst month since March 2020 in January. The Nasdaq Composite rose by 0.8% on Tuesday, while the Dow had gained 0.8%.

“We had a pretty rough January. I think we’re seeing a little bit of short covering and some bouncing here off the bottom. I don’t think the market’s settled yet,” Michael Vogelzang, CAPTRUST chief investment officer, told Yahoo Finance Live on Tuesday.

“We don’t quite know yet what the Fed’s going to be doing. We don’t have a good sense of the path of inflation for the rest of the year,” he added. “We have Russia hovering over the Ukrainian border … that has the potential to send oil prices up even higher than they already are, which of course could slow the economy down and drive inflation higher. So I think the market’s really unsettled, trying to find a bottom.”

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