Stocks set new records as strong earnings, low inflation fuel rally

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The stock market stretched its record-breaking rally Wednesday as a slew of companies reported better than expected fourth quarter earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened with a gain of 100 points, putting the index on track to close at a record high for the third consecutive day. The Nasdaq composite and S&P 500 index opened with gains of roughly 0.5 percent each, also setting new record highs.

All three major indexes have risen steadily since the beginning of last week, fueled by progress toward passing another $1 trillion-plus coronavirus relief bill, progress on COVID-19 vaccine distribution and strong corporate earnings.

Wall Street is betting on a swift second-half rebound for the U.S. economy and the likely passage of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic response and economic relief bill.

Shares of Coca-Cola, Twitter and Under Armour all rose sharply Wednesday after each company beat their expected fourth quarter earnings. Data released Wednesday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing a modest 0.3 percent increase in consumer prices last quarter also helped tame investors’ fears of stimulus-induced inflation.


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