Tech Companies Lead U.S. Stocks Broadly Higher

NEW YORK (AP) -

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Wednesday as solid gains by technology companies helped the market recoup some of its losses from a day earlier.

Small-company stocks also stood out, beating the rest of the market. Banks, retailers and homebuilders also notched gains. Utilities were the biggest laggard.

Investors appeared to welcome new insights from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting of policymakers. The central bank released the minutes from the two-day March meeting, which showed that a majority of Fed officials believed the bank could keep interest rates unchanged the rest of this year.

The S&P 500 index rose 10.01 points, or 0.3%, to 2,888.21.

The 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered from an early slide to gain 6.58 points, or less than 0.1%, to 26,157.16.

The Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, added 54.97 points, or 0.7%, to 7,964.24.

Small-company stocks rose more than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 picked up 21.87 points, or 1.4%, to 1,581.55.

Major indexes in Europe finished mostly higher.

Despite a downturn in stocks on Tuesday, the broader market has been steadily gaining in 2019. The S&P 500 is up 15.2% for the year.

Bond prices rose, sending yields lower, after the government reported that a key measure of consumer price inflation remained in check last month. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which is used to set interest rates on mortgages and many other kinds of loans, fell to 2.47% from 2.50% late Tuesday.

Traders turned their attention Wednesday to corporate earnings, as Delta Air Lines kicked off the first-quarter earnings reporting season. The company’s results easily beat forecasts, sending its shares and those of other big airlines higher.

Analysts expect first-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 index to contract for the first time in nearly three years and are closely tracking forecasts for the remainder of the 2019.

Technology stocks led the market higher Wednesday. Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices rose 2.2%.

Financial companies also notched gains. Invesco climbed 2.4% and Goldman Sachs Group rose 1.2%.

Delta Air Lines stock jumped as much as 2% before giving up some of its early gains. It shares gained 1.6%.

Shares in other airlines also rose. American Airlines Group gained 2.1% and Southwest Airlines added 1.4%.

WD-40, which makes the popular lubricant, fell 5.1% after its fiscal second-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street forecasts.

Lyft tumbled 10.9%, adding to a string of losses since the ride-hailing service made its stock market debut on March 29. Its latest slide comes as rival Uber is reportedly close to filing paperwork ahead of its own IPO.

Energy futures ended mostly higher. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1% to settle at $64.61 a barrel. Brent crude gained 1.6% to close at $71.73 a barrel.

Wholesale gasoline climbed 3.5% to $2.07 a gallon, heating oil picked up 2.1% to $2.09 a gallon and natural gas was little changed at $2.70 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The dollar fell to 110.96 yen from 111.11 yen on Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1271 from $1.1267.

Gold rose 0.4% to $1,313.90 an ounce, silver added 0.2% to $15.24 an ounce and copper dropped 0.3% to $2.93 a pound.