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Stocks claw back more ground amid strong corporate profits

Stephen Moore on Trump tax policy, economy
Stephen Moore on Trump tax policy, economy 05:12

Stocks rallied for a second straight day, bolstered by strong corporate profits and other signs of healthy economic growth.

The S&P 500 posted its first two-day gain since late September. It closed up 29 points, or 1.1 percent, ending at 2,712. Still, the index fell nearly percent in October and notched its worst monthly loss since September 2011.

The Dow rose 242 points on the day, or nearly 1 percent, to close at 25,116 and ended the month down 5 percent. The Nasdaq added 144 points, or 2 percent. 

General Motors reported solid third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, showing an operating profit of $2.5 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30 and a 10.2 percent profit margin for its North America region. 

GM shares received a further boost after the automaker announced it's offering buyouts to 18,000 of the company's 50,000 white-collar employees in North America. That's expected to save the company $6.5 billion.

Facebook on Tuesday reported profits that topped Wall Street forecasts, reassuring investors.

Corporate earnings in the third quarter were supported by robust U.S. economic growth, with the nation's GDP for the period rising 3.5 percent. 

Not out of the woods

The job market also continues to click. U.S. companies added 227,000 jobs in October, the strongest in eight months, according to survey released Wednesday by ADP.

The payroll processor said employers added jobs in manufacturing, retail, and professional services such as engineering. The healthy gain suggests that companies are still finding workers to hire even as the unemployment rate has fallen to a 49-year low. The government's October jobs report comes out Friday.

The signs of a bear market 01:28

Still, market analysts aren't ready to signal the all-clear just yet given the steep downturn in stocks this month.  

"[W]e have yet to see strong evidence that risks have meaningfully diminished," Baird investment strategist William Delwiche said in a research note that advised investors to remain cautious. 

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