How major U.S. stock indexes fared on Wednesday

S&P 500 Set For Best January Since 1997; Boeing Ignites Dow

USA stocks inched higher Wednesday as the latest round of better-than-expected earnings outweighed concerns about higher interest rates and declines in health-care stocks.

"If the Atlanta Federal Reserve forecast that US first-quarter growth could be as high as 5.4% proves true, Treasury yields and confidence will nearly certainly soar, but such a strong first quarter GDP figure would also make a rate hike in March by the US Federal Reserve a foregone conclusion, so be careful what you wish for", he added.

No sign of a recovery yet, as losses lengthen in expectations of the Fed hiking interest rates next month.

However, stronger-than-expected private sector job data for January and pending home sales data for December renewed investor optimism and helped indices close in green for the first time in the week. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.1 percent to 2,823.81.

Google parent Alphabet fell 4.5 per cent after the company's quarterly profit missed analysts' estimates.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 4.88 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 1,579.87. Technology companies and banks accounted for much of the market's gain, outweighing losses in materials and other sectors.

Investors continued to sift a raft of corporate earnings reports Thursday. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 7,411.48 for a gain of 9.00 points or 0.12%. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.9 percent. The stock added $8.18 to $195.07.

S&P 500 measures the performance of 500 widely held common stocks of large-cap US companies.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) jumped more than 3% after reporting an across-the-board fourth-quarter beat late Tuesday.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 14 cents to $64.36 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

HIGH FLYER: Boeing climbed 5.8 percent after the aerospace giant's latest quarterly earnings topped Wall Street's expectations. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 26 cents to $69.15 per barrel in London.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed to 2.79 percent from 2.71 percent late Wednesday. Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 4.75 points.

"People are starting to really get increasingly uncomfortable with the rapid rise in interest rates that we have seen and the uncertainty of how that is actually going to start to play out relative to competition for stocks", said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana. The euro strengthened to $1.2478 from $1.2410. Germany's DAX lost 1.4 percent, while France's CAC 40 slid 0.5 percent. S&P 500 futures were ahead 0.5%.

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