Dow Industrials Add More Than 200 Points, Poised for Record

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 200 points Wednesday, on pace for a record close, as investors begin shifting their focus to the latest earnings-reporting season, starting with the biggest banks.

Goldman Sachs Group accounted for a significant chunk of the blue-chip index’s gain after the bank reported sharply higher profits for the first quarter, benefiting from a turbocharged market and an economic recovery.

Energy stocks also rose, giving the stock market an added boost, after the International Energy Agency on Wednesday raised its forecast for annual global oil demand, sending crude oil prices higher.

Goldman and other bank stocks including JPMorganChase and Wells Fargo kicked off the first-quarter earnings reporting season Wednesday. Investors say they are optimistic about the biggest American companies’ earnings and outlook for the rest of the year, given the projections for a sharp economic recovery.

Sizable government stimulus measures and repeated pledges from the Federal Reserve to continue supporting the recovery have largely helped alleviate concerns about the pace of the reopening and the vaccination rollout.