(AP) — Stocks edged higher Wednesday as gains in technology companies offset losses in industrial companies and other sectors. Investors are turning their attention to this month’s jobs data, which will be out on Friday.
The S&P 500 index was up 0.3% as of 11:47 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 93 points, or 0.3%, to 34,669 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.2%.
Technology companies were doing much of the heavy lifting for the benchmark S&P 500. Chipmaker Nvidia rose 3.4%. Payments processor Visa gained 2.1% after giving investors an encouraging financial update.
Energy companies also made broad gains as oil prices ticked about 1% higher. Occidental Petroleum rose 2.4%.
Market players are looking ahead to Friday’s U.S. jobs report, which is expected to show employers added more than 650,000 jobs last month. They’re also keeping an eye on comments by Federal Reserve officials on inflation, a concern overhanging markets as economies regain momentum with the rollout of coronavirus vaccines, especially in the United States.
Expectations that the upcoming Labor Department report will show a strong increase in hiring have added to worries about inflation and how the Federal Reserve may respond to it. The concern is that the global recovery could be hampered if governments and central banks have to withdraw stimulus to combat rising prices.
Bond yields edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 1.59% from 1.61% late Tuesday.
Companies that have gained the attention of a group of highly active retail investors — AMC Entertainment, Blackberry and others — were climbing once again. AMC soared 37.7%, after rising 22.7% the day before when the company announced a stock sale.
These companies surged earlier in the year but had sold off before this week. AMC shares are still up more than 1,700% this year alone.
Etsy jumped 4.5% after the online crafts marketplace said it will buy Depop, an app that’s popular among young people looking to buy and sell used clothing and vintage fashions from the early 2000s.