S&P 500, Nasdaq rise on vaccine hopes, tech boost
By Devik Jain and Medha Singh (Reuters) - The S&P 500 rose on Monday as promising early data on a host of COVID-19 vaccine candidates countered fears over a surge in infections, while gains in technology stocks put the Nasdaq on track for a record closing high. Amazon.com Inc jumped 5.6% and provided the top boost to the tech-heavy index after two brokerages raised their price targets on the stock.
By Devik Jain and Medha Singh
(Reuters) - The S&P 500 rose on Monday as promising early data on a host of COVID-19 vaccine candidates countered fears over a surge in infections, while gains in technology stocks put the Nasdaq on track for a record closing high.
In contrast, the Dow was dragged down by industrial companies 3M Co
NYSE FANG+TM Index <.NYFANG>, which houses Facebook
U.S. drugmaker Pfizer
In the United Kingdom, data showed an experimental vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University against the virus produced an immune response in early-stage clinical trials, preserving hopes it could be in use by the end of the year.
"Even though we had some good vaccine news, the Phase-3 trials for many of these things is the hardest part and is very difficult to get through," said Elliott Savage, portfolio manager of the YCG Enhanced Fund in Austin, Texas.
"At this point, the fiscal stimulus is the next thing on investors' mind. If there were a big audacious kind of fiscal stimulus package, then that could definitely cause the market to move higher."
Congress is set to debate a new aid package this week with some support programmes due to expire by the end of the month. Record levels of new COVID-19 cases are also forcing many states to back-pedal their reopening plans.
Signs of progress on a potential coronavirus vaccine, improving economic data and a relatively upbeat start to the second-quarter earnings season helped the S&P 500 and the Dow rise for three consecutive weeks.
The benchmark S&P 500 is now about 5% down from its Feb. 19 record close.
At 12:38 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was down 35.19 points, or 0.13%, at 26,636.76 and the S&P 500 <.SPX> was up 12.92 points, or 0.40%, at 3,237.65. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was up 158.18 points, or 1.51%, at 10,661.37.
Technology <.SPLRCT>, consumer discretionary <.SPLRCD> and communication services <.SPLRCS> rose, while utilities <.SPLRCU> and industrials <.SPLRCI> lagged the most.
Oilfield services giant Halliburton Co
Noble Energy Inc's
This week, Tesla Inc
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.23-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and nearly advancers on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 37 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 104 new highs and 10 new lows.
(Reporting by Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Maju Samuel)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
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
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.