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Wednesday December 8th, 2021 11:55PM

Stocks pause as investors gauge earnings, await Biden speech

By The Associated Press
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Stocks were little changed in midday trading Wednesday, as investors dealt with a wave of company earnings reports. Wall Street is also turning its attention to Washington, where President Joe Biden will give a speech laying out his policy agenda.

The S&P 500 index was up 0.1% as of 11:38 a.m. Eastern, with slightly more companies falling than rising. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 119 points, or 0.4%, to 33,868 and the Nasdaq fell less than 0.1%.

Investors had a lot ot digest on Wednesday. Dozens of companies are reporting their quarterly results. After the closing bell, Wall Street will get reports from Apple, Facebook and Qualcomm.

Google's parent company, Alphabet. rose 4.3% after the company reported its profits doubled from a year earlier, helped by a surge of digital advertising revenue as more Americans shopped online during the pandemic. Visa rose 2.1% after reporting solid financial results.

Google's solid gains helped send communications stocks higher. Oil prices rose and boosted energy company stocks. Those gains were offset by a downturn in technology and health care companies.

Spotify sank 8.5% after the music streaming company announced that subscriber growth had slowed more than expected.

Also on tap is President Joe Biden’s speech to a joint session of Congress, which is expected to lay out several parts of his agenda such as increased infrastructure spending, likely higher taxes on the wealthy and higher funding for government programs. The $1.8 trillion program will also create universal access to pre-kindergarten schooling as well as provide support for child care programs.

The Federal Reserve started a two-day policy meeting Tuesday. Investors expect the U.S. central bank to keep its key lending rate close to zero and inject more money into the financial system through bond purchases.

Bond yields rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.63% from 1.62% late Tuesday.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Financial Services
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