Dow jumps more than 250 points, boosted by Boeing and Apple earnings

Stocks rose sharply on Wednesday as Boeing and Apple surged on the back of their earnings results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 256 points higher as Boeing and Apple outperformed. The S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent, led by the tech and industrials sectors. The Nasdaq Composite advanced about 1 percent.

Boeing shares jumped 6.2 percent after its quarterly earnings easily beat expectations. The aerospace giant also posted annual revenue of more than $100 billion for the first time and gave strong earnings guidance for 2019.

Apple climbed 4.7 percent after reporting a quarterly profit that barely beat estimates. The company’s overall quarterly revenue topped expectations, but iPhone sales for the quarter came in below estimates. The report comes after the company had slashed its revenue guidance earlier this month, citing a slowdown in China.

The results from the Dow members come during the busiest week of the earnings season. By the end of this week, more than 100 S&P 500 companies will have released their quarterly results. So far, 71 percent of the companies that have reported have surpassed earnings expectations, FactSet data show.

AMD shares also surged more than 13 percent on its quarterly release. Facebook and Microsoft are scheduled to report after the bell Wednesday. Qualcomm and Tesla are also slated to report.

Investors also looked ahead to a key monetary-policy decision from the Federal Reserve. The Fed is largely expected to have kept interest rates unchanged at their latest meeting. However, investors will look for clues regarding the Fed’s plans to roll off its massive balance sheet.

On the data front, U.S. private payrolls grew by 213,000 in January, according to data released by ADP and Moody’s Analytics. Economists polled by Refinitiv expected a gain of 178,000. The data come ahead of Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report.

Investors also looked ahead to a key monetary-policy decision from the Federal Reserve. The Fed is largely expected to have kept interest rates unchanged at their latest meeting. However, investors will look for clues regarding the Fed’s plans to roll off its massive balance sheet.

“The market today will love color on when QT will end. On the other hand, the market will not like anything that refers to ‘we’ll wait and see’ while $50 billion rolls off each month until then,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group.

On the data front, U.S. private payrolls grew by 213,000 in January, according to data released by ADP and Moody’s Analytics. Economists polled by Refinitiv expected a gain of 178,000. The data come ahead of Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report.

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