The major equity indexes ended the trading day on Tuesday in positive territory as technology and internet stocks gained on Netflix’s plans to raise fees for U.S. subscribers.
There was also hope among investors for more stimulus for China’s slowing economy that in turn fostered a risk-on mood among investors. Chinese officials hinted at more stimulus in the near term, easing concerns about a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
Netflix rose 6.5 percent after the company said it was raising prices. Other internet stocks, including shares of Alphabet, Amazon and Apple were also higher on the day after the announcement.
The S&P 500 communication services index, which includes Netflix and Alphabet, rose 1.7 percent. The S&P 500 technology stock index was up 1.5 percent.
Wall Street’s major indexes briefly pared some gains after the British parliament defeated Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit divorce deal by a wide margin. The rejection of the deal could lead to a disorderly exit from the European Union or even to a reversal of the 2016 decision to leave the EU.
Earlier in the day, gains were capped by disappointing earnings reports from the large domestic banks. JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank by assets, missed quarterly earnings estimates due to a slump in bond trading revenue,
Wells Fargo said its loan book shrank and quarterly revenue fell in all of its major businesses.
JPMorgan shares erased the early losses and ended 0.7 percent higher. Wells Fargo shares pared losses to end 1.5 percent lower.
Health insurer UnitedHealth Group rose 3.6 percent and was the top gainer on the Dow after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings. UnitedHealth shares push the S&P 500 healthcare index up 1.7 percent.
Analysts expect S&P 500 profits to have grown 14 percent in the fourth quarter, much lower than the 20.1 percent growth forecast in October, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Approximately 6.96 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, a number that was below the 8.79 billion share average for the past 20 trading days.
Core PPI Falls
A key measure of producer prices fell unexpectedly in December and the overall gauge declined more than forecast amid lower oil prices, signaling potential inflation pressures in the economy are contained.
According to a report by the Labor Department on Tuesday morning, if you exclude food and energy, the producer price index decreased 0.1 percent from the prior month, the first decline in a year.
The overall producer-price index fell 0.2 percent from November after a 0.1 percent rise. The Bloomberg survey median called for a 0.2 percent increase in the so-called core PPI and a month-over-month drop in the main PPI.
The figures, which measure wholesale and other selling costs at businesses, suggest such prices are firming up only gradually. They’re also in line with consumer price data that showed a drag from energy costs while core inflation held steady, giving the Federal Reserve little urgency to raise interest rates soon.
Within final demand PPI for goods, energy costs fell 5.4 percent from November while food costs climbed 2.6 percent.