Market Coverage: Wednesday February 9 Yahoo Finance

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Stocks advanced Wednesday as investors considered another batch of solid quarterly corporate earnings results and looked ahead to more reports.

The S&P 500 extended gains from the regular trading session on Tuesday. The Nasdaq outperformed, with technology shares climbing as Treasury yields paused after a recent run-up. The benchmark 10-year yield eased back from its highest level since November 2019.

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s (CMG) stock rose after the fast-casual restaurant chain posted a quarterly earnings beat and saw margins expand despite concerns over food price inflation and labor costs. Shares of Lyft (LYFT), however, declined after the company forecasted first-quarter revenue that missed expectations as the Omicron wave weighed on ridership at the start of the new year.

But an otherwise strong set of earnings results has helped underpin stocks in recent weeks, with the S&P 500 pacing toward a third straight weekly gain. Aggregate S&P 500 earnings per share (EPS) are currently exceeding consensus expectations by 6% so far for the latest quarter, according to Bank of America’s update Tuesday. S&P 500 earnings are tracking toward a growth rate of well over 20% on a year-over-year basis.

“Right now what people are looking for in the markets is earnings, because we know moving through 2022 that earnings are going to come under pressure as margins contract and as the economy slows down. It’s why we’re concerned about things like rising interest rates, … elevated inflation prints, [and] a policy misstep this year,” Jack Manley, JPMorgan Asset Management global market strategist, told Yahoo Finance Live on Tuesday. “The what we’re going to be able to avoid any of those potential pitfalls is through earnings.”

Still, those concerns around inflation and the Federal Reserve’s next monetary policy moves remain key areas of uncertainty for investors. And new data on these fronts is due later this week, with the January Consumer Price Index (CPI) expected to show a fresh 39-year high rate of inflation.

“I don’t think I would say that we are 100% in the clear and that we’re on this strong rebound,” Victoria Fernandez, Crossmark Global Investments chief market strategist, told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. “There’s just too much volatility going on, and I think you’re going to continue to see that.”

“You have a market that’s trying to digest so many elements: You’ve got a decently strong economy, but you’ve got these inflation concerns, … you’ve got valuations that have been somewhat stretched, you have questions as to what monetary policy is going to look like over the course of 2022,” she added. “I would be careful going all in thinking this is a rebound that won’t come back some.”

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