Wall Street closes higher as tech rally squashes virus fears

September 26, 2020

New York (Sept 26)  - Technology stocks again rode to Wall Street’s rescue on Friday, lifting the main indexes more than 1%, but the Dow and the S&P 500 still posted their longest weekly losing streaks in a year as fears of a slowing economy sparked an almost month-long rout.

Investors started buying beaten-down shares after the Nasdaq entered corrective territory last week and the S&P 500 briefly broke that barrier earlier this week.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 notched their fourth straight weekly declines, the longest weekly losing streak since August 2019. The Nasdaq closed higher for the week after falling the previous three.

Investors are looking at the long term and believe technology remains the investment of choice, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.

“It’s dip buying,” Moya said. “When you look at the correction that we’ve seen in these tech giants, people are still going to want to hold U.S. equities. The reality is that 2021 is going to be a much higher stock market and you’re probably going to see tech still lead the way.”

Shares of tech mega-caps Apple Inc AAPL.O, Microsoft Corp MSFT.O and Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O led the way, followed by Facebook Inc FB.O and Nvidia Corp NVDA.O, rising at least 2.2%.

The information technology index .SPLRCT jumped as investors ditched value-linked stocks .IVX on signs of a slowdown in the broader economic recovery. Growth-oriented shares gained at a rate almost twice that of value stocks.

Volatility .VIX has also shot up as investors look for clarity on whether Congress will approve more stimulus ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election, which now appears unlikely.

“You’ve had this nice recovery through the summer, and coming into the fall the economy is just a little bit more vulnerable, particularly with a lot of the stimulus that we had starting to taper off now,” said Mike Dowdall, portfolio manager at BMO Global Asset Management in Chicago.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 360.42 points, or 1.34%, to 27,175.86, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 51.92 points, or 1.60%, to 3,298.51 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 241.30 points, or 2.26%, to 10,913.56.

The S&P industrials sector .SPLRCI rose as data showed new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods jumped in August, while a 1.1% slide in energy stocks .SPNY put them on course for one of their worst weeks since the coronavirus-driven crash in March.

Cruise liners Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd RCL.N, Norwegian Cruise Line NCLH.N and Carnival Corp CCL.N jumped after Barclays upgraded their shares to "overweight."

Shares of Boeing Co BA.N led the Dow higher after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said its chief will conduct an evaluation flight of the grounded 737 MAX and European safety regulators indicated a potential resumption of flights by year end.[L5N2GM26V]

Costco Wholesale Corp COST.O fell as the warehouse chain recorded high coronavirus-related costs for a second straight quarter.

Novavax Inc NVAX.O jumped after the drugmaker launched a late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the UK.

The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. topped 7 million, as Midwest states reported spikes in COVID-19 infections in September, according to a Reuters tally.


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