NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 22: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during afternoon trading on January 22, 2024 in New York City. Both the Dow Jones and S&P hit all-time highs, with the Dow Jones closing above 38,000 points for the first time ever as stocks continued to rise. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images News | Getty Images
The S&P 500 rose on Wednesday as Netflix led a broader rally among technology stocks and pushed the broader market to new highs.
The benchmark S&P 500 rose 0.3%, on track to set a new all-time closing record. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 13 points lower and remained almost unchanged.
Shares of Netflix rose nearly 12% after the streamer announced that its total subscribers reached an all-time high of 260.8 million. Sales exceeded analysts' estimates, as did profit forecasts for the current quarter.
The earnings report “provides a pretty good tailwind,” said Charlie Ripley, senior strategist at Allianz Investment Management. More broadly, “People thought things were reasonably balanced, or perhaps they had even braced themselves for more downside risks as economic growth or activity in the economy continues to decline. But what we saw is that things were more resilient.”
Elsewhere, Microsoft rose more than 1%, briefly pushing its market value above $3 trillion for the first time. Meta gained nearly 2%, pushing Facebook parent company's market cap to over $1 trillion.
Both gains contributed to the mega-cap tech's strong performance in 2024, driving the S&P 500 to record highs and confirming a new bull market. Communications services and information technology stocks boosted the broad index on Wednesday.
Beyond technology, AT&T fell more than 3% on lower-than-expected earnings. Dupont De Nemours slumped more than 13% after reporting weak fourth-quarter results and disappointing first-quarter guidance.
Earnings reports will continue to be the focus of traders, with Tesla, Las Vegas Sands and IBM expected after the close. According to FactSet, more than 71% of the more than 16% of S&P 500 companies that have reported quarterly results so far in earnings season have beaten Wall Street's expectations.
“Markets are very bullish right now,” said Larry Tentarelli, founder of the Blue Chip Daily Trend Report. And “the key thing right now is the reaction to profits.”