US stocks edge higher after two-day slump

By CNN Business

Updated 4:36 p.m. ET, April 21, 2021
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4:06 p.m. ET, April 21, 2021

Stocks finish higher

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Despite the sluggish start to the day, US stocks ended the session higher after two days of losses. The Dow and the S&P 500, which hit all-time highs last week, are once again pushing up against their records.

Earnings season continues, and even though investors are concerned that too much good news is priced into the market, persistently better-than-expected company reports are hard to argue with.

1:12 p.m. ET, April 21, 2021

Here's why the stock market has gotten ahead of itself

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Stocks clawed back some ground in today's trading session, but it was in the red for the prior two days. It seemed stocks were running out of steam after pricing in too much good news about the economy reopening.

"The markets have just gone a little too far too fast," according to Greg Boutle, head of US equity at BNP Paribas.

"Our view [is] that there is a little bit more risk in equity markets than there has been for a while," Boutle said on the CNN Business digital live show Markets Now.

Expectations were high for corporate America going into the current earnings season. That's a risk for companies that might fall short of analyst predictions.

For the rest of the year, large tech companies are a pocket of the market that is particularly worrisome, Boutle said. The tech sector is at risk of being slammed by higher tax rates and could also wobble if interest rates go up.

These companies, including Google (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN) and Facebook (FB) carry a lot of weight in the major indexes, so their performance affects the overall stock market performance.

1:08 p.m. ET, April 21, 2021

CBD products company saw big demand during pandemic

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

It was hard to feel calm last year as the pandemic shook the world. Feeling at peace was "certainly something we all needed," said Summer Frein, general manager at CBD products business Lord Jones.

"We were fortunate enough to be, at the start of the pandemic, to be considered an essential business," and that helped the company to keep up with consumer demand, Frein said on the CNN Business digital live show Markets Now.

"I think everyone across the world faced some sort of supply issues," even though the company's woes weren't material, she added about operating during the pandemic.

The company started as a cannabis collective before turning into a consumer business and gaining a cult following among celebrities, including actress Kristen Bell, who collaborated on a product line with Lord Jones. Next up, the company wants to become a household name.

12:52 p.m. ET, April 21, 2021

New Apple products aren't a game changer for the stock

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Apple (AAPL) introduced a bunch of new products including a purple iPhone and colorful iMacs. But while this might be exciting to some consumers, it probably won't make much of a difference for investors, said Tony Sacconaghi, senior equity research analyst at Bernstein.

The new products weren't all that much to write home about as "most of them were largely evoluntionary," in the sense that they were really just updated products, Sacconaghi told Alison Kosik on the CNN Business digital live show Markets Now.

"The products themselves were relatively small" in Apple's complete product lineup, he added. And that's why they are unlikely to be a big catalyst for Apple stock.

Apple shares are down a modest 0.2%.

11:10 a.m. ET, April 21, 2021

Stocks turn a corner

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Stocks have turned a corner after opening mostly lower and all three major indexes are now firmly in the green.

Stocks in the materials, energy and industrial sectors are leading the rebound with Dow Inc (DOW) the best performing company in the Dow index (confusing, we know), which, in turn, is up 210 points, or 0.6%.

The S&P 500 is up 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite is 0.3% higher.

12:06 p.m. ET, April 21, 2021

Microsoft is approaching a $2 trillion market cap

From CNN Business' Clare Duffy

Microsoft is nearing entry to an elite club: corporations whose market capitalizations have surpassed $2 trillion. 

So far, only two other companies, Apple (AAPL) and Saudi Aramco, have done it. But Microsoft (MSFT) is so close to joining them that its membership card should probably already be in the mail. 

Microsoft's market cap was around $1.96 trillion shortly after the market opened on Wednesday, following a month of strong growth for its stock. The company's stock is up nearly 19% since January, and more than 54% since this time last year. 

Covid-19 has helped: The pandemic meant people were spending more time on their devices, boosting demand for Microsoft’s computers, gaming systems and cloud computing platform. 

Fellow tech giants Amazon (AMZN) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) aren’t far behind. Amazon’s market cap on Monday was $1.68 trillion, and Alphabet’s was $1.52 trillion.

10:14 a.m. ET, April 21, 2021

Nearly 10% of families struggled with unemployment last year

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

The pandemic devastated America's previously strong labor market — that much we know from various economic data. On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics added more detail:

Nearly 10% of families — 9.8% to be precise — included an unemployed person last year. That was double the number from 2019, when 4.9% of families faced joblessness through at least one family member.

That means 8.1 million families included at least one unemployed person last year.

But the economic hardship from the pandemic isn't spread evenly across the population.

"White families were the least likely to have an unemployed member, and Hispanic families were the most likely," the BLS said in its report.

9:48 a.m. ET, April 21, 2021

Goldman Sachs employs just 49 Black people in top US jobs

From CNN Business' Hanna Ziady

Goldman Sachs (GS) has just 49 Black executives and senior managers in its US workforce, accounting for about 3% of the total.

In a sustainability report published Tuesday, the investment bank revealed data on the racial and gender composition of its US workforce for the first time. The numbers reflect a very low rate of Black employment across almost all roles in the organization.

Of 1,548 US executives and senior managers, just 24 are Black men and 25 are Black women, or about 3.2% of the total, according to Goldman Sachs.

Read more here.

9:31 a.m. ET, April 21, 2021

Stocks open mostly lower

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

US stocks kicked off mostly in the red again Wednesday, adding onto the losses from the previous two sessions.

Today’s high-profile earnings included Verizon before the market open, and will be followed by Chipotle after the bell. But after weeks of pricing in good news, the market doesn't seem to budge at the better-than-expected earnings reports. Earnings season has been really strong so far, but Wall Street remains concerned that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic could threaten the economic recovery.