S&P 500, Dow rise as fiscal stimulus hopes offset Sino-U.S. worries
By Medha Singh and Devik Jain (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow advanced on Wednesday as signs of another round of government stimulus for the virus-stricken U.S.
By Medha Singh and Devik Jain
(Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow advanced on Wednesday as signs of another round of government stimulus for the virus-stricken U.S. economy countered worries over worsening ties between the United States and China.
A largely upbeat start to the earnings season, hopes for an eventual COVID-19 vaccine and an expected coronavirus relief economic package have brought the benchmark S&P 500 within 4% below its record February closing high.
Further lifting the mood, a report said the White House and Senate Republicans are discussing a deal to temporarily extend coronavirus-related unemployment benefits, as they appear unlikely to reach a broader stimulus agreement before the aid lapses.
"The attention of equities right now is on what another stimulus bill will look like and the underlying health of the economy in terms of employment and housing," said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird in Milwaukee.
U.S. home sales increased by the most on record in June, lifting the Philadelphia SE Housing index <.HGX> by 2.8%.
Earlier on Wednesday, futures had taken a hit after the United States told China to close its consulate in Houston, citing a need to protect American intellectual property and information, deepening a deterioration in bilateral relations. A source said Beijing was considering shutting down the U.S. consulate in Wuhan.
At 1:04 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 65.27 points, or 0.24%, at 26,905.67 and the S&P 500 <.SPX> was up 8.23 points, or 0.25%, at 3,265.53. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was down 5.13 points, or 0.05%, at 10,675.24.
The real estate <.SPLRCR> and utilities <.SPLRCU> sectors rose more than 1%, the most among major S&P sectors, while financials <.SPSY> and energy <.SPNY> underperformed.
Hospital operator HCA Healthcare Inc
About 77.7% of the 75 S&P 500 firms that have reported so far, have beaten a low bar for quarterly earnings estimates, per IBES data from Refinitiv. Analysts expect earnings to decline about 41.2% in the reported quarter.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.36-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.27-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 37 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 73 new highs and 10 new lows.
(Reporting by Medha Singh and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Maju Samuel)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
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