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 (opens in new tab), +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 (opens in new tab), +5.6%) were also well-received, with the mega-bank topping top- and bottom-line expectations. However, JPMorgan Chase (JPM (opens in new tab), -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 (opens in new tab), +2.9%) and Chevron (CVX (opens in new tab), +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 (opens in new tab)) 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 (opens in new tab)), female-led dating-app operator Bumble (BMBL (opens in new tab)) and popular online education provider Coursera (COUR (opens in new tab)). And the dealmaking is far from over.

Yesterday, we pointed you in the direction of several special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs (opens in new tab), 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
Senior Investing Editor, Kiplinger.com

Kyle is senior investing editor for Kiplinger.com. As a writer and columnist, he also specializes in exchange-traded funds. He joined Kiplinger in September 2017 after spending six years at InvestorPlace.com, where he managed the editorial staff. His work has appeared in several outlets, including U.S. News & World Report and MSN Money, he has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, and he has been quoted in MarketWatch, Vice and Univision, among other outlets. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism.