(Reuters) – Wall Street’s key indices rose Thursday as health and technology stocks grew as investors looked to a rapid recovery from an economic downturn caused by corona viruses.
Traders wearing masks work on the first day of personal trading since closing during the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, the United States, on May 26, 2020 REUTERS / Brendan McDermid
The Dow Jones index was boosted by a 3.1% increase in Boeing Co-shares after the aircraft manufacturer announced that it would resume production of its 737 MAX passenger plane at its Washington plant, albeit at a “low price”.
The healthcare and technology sectors rose 2.1% and 1.4%, respectively, outperforming the major S&P indices that were trading higher.
The S & P 500 has risen 38% from its low in March as resumption of business after weeks of standstill and massive stimulus measures to support the economy raised hopes of a recovery.
The benchmark is now around 10% below its record high of February 19.
“The market believes the worst economic conditions resulting from the corona virus are behind us,” said Tim Shaler, chief economist at iTrustCapital in Newport Beach, California.
Recent data from the Department of Labor showed that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits exceeded 2 million for the tenth consecutive week, despite the fact that unemployment claims have steadily declined since reaching a record high in mid-March.
Worsening US-China relations in recent weeks and fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections pose a threat to the strong recovery in stock markets after the crash earlier this year, analysts said.
Investors are also closely watching Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc before President Donald Trump expects to review a law that has long protected Internet companies from being responsible for the material published by their users.
Twitter stocks fell 2.8%, while Facebook reduced losses to 0.8%.
At 12:52 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 179.92 points, or 0.70%, to 25,728.19, the S&P 500 rose 28.02 points, or 0.92%, to 3,064.15. The Nasdaq Composite rose 97.27 points, or 1.03%, to 9,509.63.
Bank stocks stayed behind after rising about 15% in the last two sessions.
Memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc fell 3.2%, despite having raised its sales forecast for the third quarter.
Discounter Dollar Tree Inc rose 11.3% after reporting better-than-expected quarterly sales and earnings as consumers had food and other important items in stock due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The progressive emissions exceeded the declines with a ratio of 1.60 to 1 on the NYSE and a ratio of 1.30 to 1 on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index posted 15 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 59 new highs and six new lows.
Reporting by Medha Singh and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing of Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D’Silva