Live stock market news updates: Stocks gain as Wall Street struggles with the sell-off

US stocks rose at the open on Wednesday, as strong earnings from Nike and FedEx provided a boost to investors looking to recapture their recent bout of selling.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose 1.1%, while futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) jumped more than 400 points, or 1.3%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) rose 1.1%.

An upbeat measure of consumer confidence also lifted the mood early Wednesday. Data released on Wednesday showed that the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 108.3 this month – the highest level since April – from an upwardly revised 101.4 in November. Economists predicted the 101st, according to Bloomberg estimates.

Shares of Nike (NKE) rose 13% after the retailer handily beat second-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts and reported a drop in inventories from the prior period. While the year-over-year backlog was still rolling in, Nike CEO John Donahue said he believed the company had passed its peak inventory.

Shares of FedEx Corporation (FDX) jumped nearly 4% after the company disclosed its aggressive cost-saving efforts. Chief Executive Officer Raj Subramaniam said FedEx has identified an additional $1 billion in savings beyond the forecast it provided in September as part of its “ongoing transformation while navigating a weaker demand environment.” FedEx launched a deep sell-off in September when it issued a warning about its outlook for the US economy.

Meanwhile, Rite Aid (RAD) stocks fell nearly 17% after the pharmacy chain reported a loss in its fiscal third quarter, hurt by declines in COVID vaccines and tests.

Tesla (TSLA) remained in the spotlight after it plunged another 8% to a new two-year low on Tuesday — a decline that followed a 16% drop last week. CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter late Tuesday that he will step down as Twitter chief once he finds a replacement. Stocks were almost flat.

Separately, Tesla is expected to freeze hiring and deliver another round of layoffs in the next quarter, according to a report from Electrek, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Oil prices rose for the third day in a row as traders weighed on a report showing a larger-than-expected drop in US stockpiles against demand concerns and an expected blizzard domestically. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 2% to nearly $78 a barrel.

The economic calendar will bring investors the latest Consumer Sentiment Survey from the Conference Board at 10:00 AM ET.

Monitors on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) show Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during a press conference, Dec. 14, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Wednesday’s moves come after a volatile session on Tuesday that followed a hawkish move by the Bank of Japan – seen as the last of the easy-going central banks – to raise the maximum yield on 10-year government bonds after the US Federal Reserve, the European Federal Reserve, and the European Union. The central bank and others raised interest rates last week.

Investors were hoping for a rebound in Santa Claus – a steady stock market rally that usually occurs at the end of December, and is usually defined as covering the last five trading days of the year and the first two days of the new year. But concerns about “higher versus longer” rates and a looming recession dampened the seasonal optimism.

Alexandra Semenova is a correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @employee

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