By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Vildana Hajric · BUSINESS, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS
The benchmark stock gauge rose to within 2% of its record closing high of 3,386, and a measure of global equities was near wiping out its losses for the year. Payment processor Square Inc. and media titan Walt Disney Co. rose after better-than-forecast earnings. Novavax Inc. jumped on positive early data from its experimental vaccine for covid-19.
Gold continued its ascent above a record $2,000 an ounce as investors sought an alternative to low bond yields. The dollar fell. Ten-year Treasury yields edged up. Oil rose after a decline in U.S. stockpiles.
Investors have been pushing stocks higher in recent days as pressure grows on Republicans and Democrats to resolve differences over a new U.S. virus relief package, especially with jobs data Wednesday painting a grim picture. Gains in precious metals suggest traders are nervous about the outlook for the global economy and seeking a hedge.
"Stock markets in general have been underpinned by expectations for further stimulus out of the U.S.," said Candice Bangsund, portfolio manager of global asset allocation at Fiera Capital Corp. "The second-quarter earnings season has also lent some notable support and helped to counteract some of the fears about the latest resurgence in covid cases."
U.S. economic data was mixed, with payroll gains slowing sharply in July, suggesting the pickup in coronavirus cases is putting the brakes on the job market. Meanwhile, service industries expanded in July at the fastest pace since February 2019.
Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced while Asian shares were mixed.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 Index advanced 0.6% as of 4 p.m. EDT.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.5%.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.7%.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index advanced 1.2%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.5%.
- The euro increased 0.5% to $1.1864.
- The Japanese yen rose 0.1% to 105.59 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasurys added four basis points to 0.54%.
- Germany's 10-year yield increased five basis points to -0.51%.
- Britain's 10-year yield climbed five basis points to 0.13%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude added 1.1% to $42.16 a barrel.
- Gold strengthened 1.1% to $2,040.59 an ounce.