The moves came after a relatively calm day on Wall Street that saw the S&P 500 edge out a rise of 0.1% and mark a third straight day of gains. The index is up 3.12% this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 36 points while the Nasdaq Composite dipped less than 0.1% amid a drop in Amazon shares during the regular session.
Investors watched a handful of stocks including eBay, PayPal and Qualcomm in extended trading after each issued a quarterly earnings report.
Of the three, eBay easily outperformed with a climb of more than 9% in the after-hours market after beating on both the top and bottom lines and issuing a rosier-than-expected forecast for the first quarter.
PayPal gained nearly 3% while Qualcomm slipped more than 7% after reporting revenues below consensus estimates for its fiscal first quarter.
Apple rose 2% in extended trading after CNBC reported that it is close to finalizing a deal with Hyundai-Kia to produce driverless cars. News that the two may be close to a deal comes after Hyundai said in January that it was in preliminary talks with the iPhone maker to develop a car.
The macroeconomic outlook remained in focus as traders prepared for the latest iteration of the Labor Department’s jobless claims report, due Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect first-time claims to total 830,000 for the week that ended Jan. 30.
If claims were to come in as expected, it would mark a slight reduction from the prior week’s 847,000 initial claims.
The economic recovery and market performance have tracked the severity of Covid-19 in the U.S., with some strategists saying the rollout of vaccines could lead to higher interest rates if not outperformance in cyclical or bank stocks.
“Covid vaccine sentiment is still very low. That will improve as investors understand that vaccines will give you either 1) immunity or 2) mild reaction (severity low),” Evercore ISI strategist Dennis DeBusschere wrote in an email on Wednesday.
“As investors and society at large realize low severity is really important, vaccine sentiment will improve and [Treasury] yields will have another gap higher,” he added.
The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note rose about 3 basis points on Wednesday to 1.14%.