Major indexes rise broadly on Wall Street, adding to gains

<p><p>Stocks rose broadly on Wall Street Thursday as the market builds momentum a day after breaking a three-day losing streak.</p></p><p><p>The S&amp;P 500 rose 1.5% as of 11:40 a.m. Eastern. More than 90% of stocks within the benchmark index gained ground, and it is now on track for a weekly gain.</p></p><p><p>The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 471 points, or 1.4%, to 34,849 and the Nasdaq rose 1.5%.</p></p><p><p>Health care stocks made some of the strongest gains. <a href=”https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-business-minnesota-united-states-health-1e8313ff1168bbd2f2462cd1897c63a1″ target=”—blank”>UnitedHealth Group</a> jumped 4.6% after raising its profit forecast for the year following a strong third-quarter.</p></p><p><p>Technology stocks also did a lot of heavy lifting. Apple rose 1.5% and Microsoft rose 1.6%.</p></p><p><p>This is the first big week for companies reporting their most recent quarterly financial results and investors have had mixed reactions so far to the latest round of <a href=”https://apnews.com/article/business-earnings-3aea3ff02f96e64a42d10ca3aef54aaa” target=”—blank”>bank earnings</a>.</p></p><p><p>Bank of America rose 3.2% after beating analysts’ forecasts. Wells Fargo also beat forecasts, but it fell slightly as profits from lending fell compared with a year ago.</p></p><p><p>Investors are also reviewing the latest data on jobs and inflation as they try to gauge the economy’s health and path forward.</p></p><p><p>The Labor Department said the <a href=”https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-business-health-94814d87baa33b872ab0602f63a41b46″ target=”—blank”>number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits</a> last week fell to its lowest level since the pandemic began.</p></p><p><p>It’s a positive sign for a job market that is still trying to recover from the initial hit from the pandemic 18 months ago. A surge of cases over the summer stunted the recovery.</p></p><p><p>The latest report on inflation showed that businesses continue to face pressure from rising costs.</p></p><p><p>The Labor Department said <a href=”https://apnews.com/article/business-producer-prices-prices-inflation-728488dd62aec4d09527c7ba9779944f” target=”—blank”>inflation at the wholesale level rose 8.6% in September</a> compared to a year ago, the largest advance since the 12-month change was first calculated in 2010.</p></p><p><p>Rising inflation has been raising costs for consumer goods. Analysts are concerned that could affect how much people spend and slow down the economic recovery.</p></p><p><p>Investors will get an update on spending Friday when the Commerce Department reports retail sales for September.</p></p><p><p>Bond yields edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.52% from 1.55% late Wednesday.</p></p>