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Stocks End Higher as Wall Street Turns Focus to Corporate Earnings

Stocks rise as investors focus on earnings and look past the economic impact of rising coronavirus infections across the globe.

Stocks finished higher on Wednesday following a rebound on Wall Street as investors focused on earnings and looked past the economic impact of rising coronavirus infections across the globe.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 286 points, or 0.83%, to 34,798, the S&P 500 rose 0.82% and the Nasdaq gained 0.92%.

Rallies both Tuesday and Wednesday recouped the losses from Monday's steep selloff.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury rose Wednesday to 1.292%. 

Earlier this week bond yields dropped below 1.2%. Traders had pared bets on any near-term moves on interest rates from the Federal Reserve as concern that delta-variant infections will slow the global economic recovery increased. 

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus now accounts for an estimated 83% of U.S. cases.

Nancy Davis, founder of Quadratic Capital Management and portfolio manager of the Quadratic Interest Rate Volatility and Inflation Hedge Exchange-Traded Fund  (IVOL) - Get Report, said investors should be worried that the delta variant could fuel worries about stagflation, "which is a terrible combination of slowing economic growth and inflation at the same time. 

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"If the virus begins to spread rapidly again, that would curtail economic growth and prolong the inflationary supply chain disruptions that have affected so many industries including semiconductors and housing," she said.

Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Report reported second-quarter adjusted earnings that topped analysts' forecasts and the healthcare giant boosted its full-year profit forecast. Rebounds in pharmaceutical and consumer health sales lifted the company's top and bottom lines.

Speaking more of Johnson & Johnson, a report said the company's single-dose vaccine was much less effective against the delta variant. The new study has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal.

The data from the new study “do not speak to the full nature of immune protection,” a J&J spokesperson told The New York Times.

J&J finished 0.6% higher.

Coca-Cola  (KO) - Get Report also posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and lifted its full-year profit forecast. Coke stock moved up 1.3%.

Netflix  (NFLX) - Get Report finished 3.3% lower Wednesday after the streaming giant said it expected third-quarter subscriber growth to be sluggish.

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