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U.S. Stocks Close Higher as Earnings Season Continues

U.S. stocks ended higher on Wednesday as more second-quarter earnings reports boosted investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 109.28 points, or 0.31 percent, to 35,061.21. The S&P 500 added 10.74 points, or 0.24 percent, to 4,565.72. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 4.38 points, or 0.03 percent, to 14,358.02.

Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in green, with real estate and utilities leading the gainers by rising 1.12 percent and 1.02 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, materials and technology led the laggards by losing 0.52 percent and 0.27 percent, respectively.

U.S. stocks extended gains on Wednesday, with the Dow registering its longest winning streak in nearly four years. With more encouraging results from the banking sector, the second-quarter earnings season is off to a strong start.

Goldman Sachs stocks rose nearly 1 percent on Wednesday after the bank signaled better times ahead for deal making, despite second-quarter earnings that fell short of market expectations.

Meanwhile, three major U.S. regional banks met or beat profit expectations due to a rise in net interest income, sending shares across the sector up. Among them, shares of U.S. Bancorp surged 6.5 percent.

“U.S. stocks are rising as soft-landing hopes grow as the regional banks provide stabilization signs and on hopes that inflation will continue to cool. It doesn’t look like we will see a major credit crunch anytime soon and that could mean good news for the recovery that takes hold next year,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, a supplier of online multi-asset trading services.

“Bank earnings are better than feared and are pushing the episodic crisis from the spring further into the rearview mirror and (thus far) continue to trade like a soft landing will occur,” said George Catrambone, head of fixed income and trading at DWS Group, in an interview with CNBC.

Investors were also waiting for more tech earnings on Wednesday as some major companies like IBM, Netflix and Tesla posted earnings after the close, while digesting the latest economic data.

Housing starts, a measure of new home construction, declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.43 million in June, lower than market expectations of 1.48 million, dropping 8 percent from May, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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