By Lu Wang and Aubrey Pringle
NEW YORK: Stocks rose Wednesday, rebounding from the benchmark index’s biggest two-day slump since June, amid optimism that Federal Reserve Bank chair nominee Janet Yellen won’t rush to withdraw economic stimulus along with signs that lawmakers could raise the government’s debt ceiling.
Hewlett-Packard Co. rallied 8.9 percent after saying it expects to return more cash to shareholders and see revenue stabilize after a multiyear decline. Alcoa Inc. gained 2 percent amid better-than-forecast profit. Yum! Brands Inc. sank 6.7 percent after third- quarter income fell 68 percent on lower same-store sales in China.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 0.1 percent to 1,656.40. The Dow Jones industrial average added 26.45 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,802.98. The Nasdaq composite index fell 0.5 percent to 3,677.78, extending its three-day slide to 3.4 percent, the most since June 24.
“The market breathes a sigh of relief with Yellen’s appointment,” Chris Gaffney, senior market strategist at Everbank Wealth Management Inc., said in an interview from St. Louis. “The markets like the fact that Yellen is a known quantity. She has supported the stimulus program, in fact she’s largely thought to be the architect.”