Saturday, September 19, 2020

Nasdaq sets a record as tech jumps

Aug 04. 2020
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By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Claire Ballentine · BUSINESS, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS 

Stocks advanced, with tech shares leading the way, amid positive economic data and after the White House was said to consider acting on its own to boost unemployment benefits.

The Nasdaq 100 reached a record as traders sought out companies poised to do best in a stay-at-home economy. Apple Inc. set an all-time high and Microsoft Corp. gained as it tried to salvage a deal for the U.S. operations of TikTok. Europe's benchmark gauge rose the most in two weeks after the euro area's first manufacturing expansion in one-and-a-half years.

The dollar bounced higher following its worst July in a decade and Treasurys fell across the yield curve as data showed U.S. manufacturing expanded in July at the fastest pace since March 2019.

Stocks got a lift as the White House was said to be exploring whether President Donald Trump can act on his own to extend enhanced unemployment benefits. Investors are entering August looking past the disturbing rate of coronavirus infections and scattered moves to return major cities to lockdowns.

"Momentum begets more momentum, and the markets have been overbought we believe, but the demand to buy has been there," said Bob Phillips, managing principal at Spectrum Management Group. "There's a big desire from both parties to get some kind of stimulus passed. The way the market is reacting, I think the market is expecting that."

Meanwhile, tension between the U.S. and China emerged as another threat to risk appetite. Trump said TikTok will have to close its U.S. operations by Sept. 15 -- unless there's a deal to sell the social media network's American operations.

Elsewhere, equities rose in Japan and China, where mainland-listed technology stocks surged on expectations of support from Beijing in response to U.S. moves against Chinese-owned software companies. West Texas-grade oil traded around $41 a barrel as OPEC+ producers started supplying more crude to a global market where many countries are still struggling to contain the coronavirus.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

--The S&P 500 Index advanced 0.7% as of 4 p.m. EDT.

--The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 2.1%.

--The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.4%.

Currencies

--The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.3%.

--The euro decreased 0.1% to $1.1763.

--The Japanese yen weakened 0.1% to 105.98 per dollar.

Bonds

--The yield on 10-year Treasurys climbed two basis points to 0.55%.

--Britain's 10-year yield fell one basis point to 0.10%.

--Germany's 10-year yield was little changed at -0.525%.

Commodities

--West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.5% to $40.87 a barrel.

--Gold rose 0.1% to $1,977 an ounce.

--Copper rose 1.6% to $2.9145 per pound.

 

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