Stock Market Today: Strong Start to Earnings Season Sends Dow Higher

Goldman Sachs' (GS) record Q1 and a strong day for Chevron (CVX) helped keep the Dow in positive territory on an otherwise choppy Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs Tower in New Jersey
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was the clear winner among the blue-chip indexes Wednesday as Wall Street got its initial taste of 2021's Q1 earnings season.

The industrial average gained a modest 0.2% to finish at 33,730 with help from Goldman Sachs (GS, +2.3%), which jumped after the investment bank reported record first-quarter profits.

"GS is executing on all cylinders with industry-leading performance, and we believe the capital markets will remain very active in a low-rate, risk-on environment," says Kenneth Leon, director of equity research at CFRA.

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Quarterly results from Wells Fargo (WFC, +5.6%) were also well-received, with the mega-bank topping top- and bottom-line expectations. However, JPMorgan Chase (JPM, -1.9%) slumped on disappointing loan revenues.

The energy sector (+2.8%) was another big winner today after data from the Energy Information Administration showed domestic crude oil supplies fell more than expected last week. That lifted U.S. crude oil futures by 4.9% to $63.15 per barrel, marking the commodity's highest finish since March 17. In turn, integrated oil majors Exxon Mobil (XOM, +2.9%) and Chevron (CVX, +2.0%) both enjoyed a robust move higher.

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But it wasn't enough to keep the S&P 500 above water, with the broad-market index falling 0.4% to close at 4,124. The Nasdaq Composite declined 1.0% to 13,857.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The Russell 2000 rose 0.8% to close at 2,247.
  • Gold futures fell $11.30, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,736.30 an ounce.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) rose 2.0% to settle at 16.99.
  • Bitcoin prices dropped 1.5% to $62,028. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)

stock chart for 041421

(Image credit: YCharts)

Another Day, Another Big Stock Debut

Also Wednesday, investors enjoyed the latest in a string of high-profile stock offerings.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (COIN) kicked off its highly anticipated direct listing by opening at $381.00 – well above the $250 reference price set by the Nasdaq on Tuesday – before closing up 31.3% to $328.28. Coinbase joined a laundry list of outstanding offerings in 2021 that include the likes of online gaming platform Roblox (RBLX), female-led dating-app operator Bumble (BMBL) and popular online education provider Coursera (COUR). And the dealmaking is far from over.

Yesterday, we pointed you in the direction of several special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, that are looking to join an explosive trend of companies going public in an alternative way. But don't sleep on traditional initial public offerings (IPOs).

Dozens of exciting deals are on tap for the rest of the year, and even more could be on the way as additional companies file with the SEC. Here, we've rounded up a baker's dozen of the hottest upcoming IPOs, including a popular consumer-goods firm that recently threw its hat in the ring.

Kyle Woodley was long RBLX as of this writing.

Kyle Woodley

Kyle Woodley is the Editor-in-Chief of Young and The Invested, a site dedicated to improving the personal finances and financial literacy of parents and children. He also writes the weekly The Weekend Tea newsletter, which covers both news and analysis about spending, saving, investing, the economy and more.

Kyle was previously the Senior Investing Editor for, and the Managing Editor for before that. His work has appeared in several outlets, including Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, Barchart, The Globe & Mail and the Nasdaq. He also has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, among other shows and podcasts, and he has been quoted in several outlets, including MarketWatch, Vice and Univision. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism. 

You can check out his thoughts on the markets (and more) at @KyleWoodley.