US stocks advance cautiously at open amid earnings, virus

Wall Street slowly climbed upward at the open Wednesday amid major earnings reports and continued uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

About 20 minutes into trading, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3% at 28 775.71.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.4% to 3 526.77, while the tech-rich Nasdaq climbed 0.5% to 11 920.37.

Equities retreated the day before despite better-than-expected results from major banks Citigroup and JPMorgan, with analysts taking note of executives' insistence that more stimulus is needed for the US economy.

Lawmakers in Congress have been deadlocked for months over such spending and the impasse shows no sign of ending soon, while virus cases across the United States are moving upwards.

"An uptick in coronavirus cases remains a market overhang, with the US reporting the highest number of hospitalizations related to the virus since early September," Wells Fargo Advisors said.

"Additionally, market participants are tempering expectations that lawmakers in Washington can reach an agreement for a fiscal stimulus bill before the election, as the negotiations seem to reach an impasse."

Goldman Sachs gained 0.9% after reporting that profits had nearly doubled in the third quarter.

Johnson & Johnson shares were nearly flat at $148.32 after tumbling 2.3% Tuesday following the company's announcement that it paused its coronavirus vaccine trial after a participant became ill.

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