US Stocks Edge Higher Wednesday, Led by Health Care

(AP) -- Stocks edged higher in morning trading on Wall Street Wednesday with health care companies leading the gains for a second day in a row.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% as of 10:18 a.m. Eastern. The benchmark index has made gains over the last five days and is just below its all-time high set on Sept. 2.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 108 points, or 0.3%, to 35,564 and the Nasdaq rose 0.1%.

Wall Street cheered solid earnings from a variety of health care companies. Abbott Laboratories, which makes infant formula, medical devices and drugs, rose 3.6% after handily beating analysts' third-quarter profit forecasts. Health insurer Anthem rose 6.5% and drug developer Biogen rose 0.7% after also reporting strong financial results.

Technology and energy stocks lagged the broader market. Bond yields were relatively stable. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to at 1.64% from 1.63% late Tuesday.

U.S. crude oil prices fell 1% and natural gas prices fell 1.7%. The falling prices weighed down energy stocks. Hess fell 1.7%.

Netflix fell 0.6% after forecasting earnings for its current quarter that were below analysts' estimates.

The price of Bitcoin rose 3% to over $66,394, reaching an all-time high. The gains came a day after the first exchange-traded fund linked to Bitcoin futures attracted huge interest from investors looking to get into the surging field of cryptocurrencies.

Investors are busy reviewing the latest report cards from companies as they try to get a clearer view of the economic path forward amid rising inflation and a lingering threat from COVID-19.

A key concern remains supply chain disruptions and rising materials costs cutting into profits for many companies. Higher costs for companies could mean higher prices for consumers, which could threaten spending that is supporting the economic recovery.

Railroad operator CSX and Electric vehicle maker Tesla will report financial results after the market closes. Several other big companies will report results on Thursday, including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Union Pacific.