(Reuters) – Technology shares boosted Wall Street’s main indexes on Wednesday as early signs of an economic rebound offset fears of another lockdown due to a jump in coronavirus cases across the country.
FILE PHOTO: Traders wear masks as they work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., May 27, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Safe-haven gold rose more than 1% as the number of confirmed U.S. cases surpassed 3 million, affecting nearly one of every 100 Americans. California, Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas broke their previous daily record highs for new infections.
“We expect the tug of war between better economic data and concerns over rising COVID-19 cases to continue through the month unless we get better daily virus numbers, and/or news on a vaccine,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
The Nasdaq notched an intraday record high on Tuesday but all the three main stock indexes finished lower as investors booked profits following a strong run on the back of upbeat economic data over the last few days.
Bolstering hopes of a post-pandemic rebound, analysts said any setback in business activity due to the recent surge in infections would be short term, leaving their long-term forecasts for economic growth unchanged.
Markets also appeared to be in a wait-and-watch mode before the beginning of the second-quarter earnings season, which kicks off next week with reports from the big Wall Street banks.
Quarterly earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to plunge about 43% year-on-year, according to IBES Refinitiv data.
“Wall Street is looking ahead to 2021 earnings and pretty much ignoring 2020,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York.
Technology sectors .SPLRCT firmed 1.2%, the most among the 11 major S&P sectors.
At 10:52 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 121.80 points, or 0.47%, at 26,011.98, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 18.26 points, or 0.58%, at 3,163.58. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 114.52 points, or 1.11%, at 10,458.41.
Biogen Inc (BIIB.O) jumped 5% after the company said it submitted the marketing application for its experimental Alzheimer’s disease therapy, aducanumab.
Allstate Corp (ALL.N) slipped 3.2% as the U.S. insurer said it would buy National General Holdings Corp (NGHC.O) for about $4 billion, scaling up its auto insurance business. National General shares surged 64.6%.
Levi Strauss & Co (LEVI.N) fell 6.4% as the denim apparel maker cautioned its business would be hit in the second half of the year, even as its sales have been improving at its reopened stores.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.46-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.40-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 16 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 78 new highs and 13 new lows.
Reporting by C Nivedita and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel ad Shounak Dasgupta