US Stocks Rise on Earnings Reports

(AP) -- Stocks rose broadly in morning trading on Wall Street Thursday as investors reviewed the latest corporate earnings and gauged the economic impact of rising inflation.

The S&P 500 rose 0.8% as of 10:20 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 244 points, or 0.7%, to 35,275 and the Nasdaq rose 1.3%.

Technology stocks were once again directing the broader market. The sector has been responsible for big daily swings as investors prepare for higher interest rates, which make shares in pricey tech companies and other expensive growth stocks relatively less attractive.

Microsoft rose 2.5% and Apple rose 1.5%.

A big mix of retailers, communications and health care stocks also helped lift the market. Energy stocks lagged other sectors as crude oil prices remained relatively stable.

Bond yields edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.83% from 1.82% late Wednesday.

Wall Street brushed off a report from the Labor Department that showed the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in three months as the fast-spreading omicron variant continued to disrupt the job market.

The job market has had a rocky recovery from the virus pandemic. The unemployment rate fell last month to a pandemic low 3.9%.

Employment data was also closely watched by investors trying to gauge how it would affect the Federal Reserve's decision to ease up on support for the markets and economy. The central bank made it clear early in the pandemic that it was basing much of its support on how quickly employment recovers.

The Fed is now expected to raise interest rates earlier and more often in order to fight rising inflation that threatens to derail a further economic recovery. Supply chain problems and higher raw materials costs have prompted businesses to raise prices on finished goods and economists are concerned that consumers will eventually grow tired of paying higher prices and cut their spending.

The latest round of corporate earnings is also giving investors a clearer picture of where Americans are spending money and how inflation is impacting the economy.

American Airlines fell 0.6% and United Airlines shed 0.9% after warning investors that the latest surge in COVID-19 cases will hurt their finances early in 2022. Both airlines reported losses for the fourth quarter, though they were smaller than analysts expected.

Aluminum products maker Alcoa rose 1.7% after reporting strong fourth-quarter financial results as prices for commodities rose.