S&P 500, Nasdaq tick higher on Intel boost
By Medha Singh and Devik Jain (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose in choppy trading on Wednesday as Intel shares jumped thanks to a change in management while broader sentiment was muted after a recent run to record highs. Intel said it would replace Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan with VMware Inc CEO Pat Gelsinger next month
By Medha Singh and Devik Jain
(Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose in choppy trading on Wednesday as Intel shares jumped thanks to a change in management while broader sentiment was muted after a recent run to record highs.
Intel said it would replace Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan with VMware Inc CEO Pat Gelsinger next month. The chipmaker's shares gained 7.5% to touch a six-month high.
Shares of VMware fell 5.5%.
Wall Street's main indexes hit record highs last week as expectations of a hefty COVID-19 relief package and hopes of a rebound in corporate earnings this year eclipsed concerns over signs that the labor market recovery has stalled amid rampant COVID-19 infections.
"The market is starting to price in that there are some risks ... valuation is pretty extreme, optimism is way too high, we've got a disappointing rollout of further vaccine," said David Spika, president of GuideStone Capital Management in Dallas, Texas.
"The expectation is that we'll have a significant increase in earnings and economic growth in 2021, but both are really dependent on the vaccine."
Investors are watching events in Washington, where the U.S. House of Representatives gathered to consider impeaching President Donald Trump for his role in an assault on American democracy that stunned the nation and left five dead.
"The market is looking through the impeachment and saying we're going to get this stimulus, which will be a bridge between now and when the vaccine can be adequately distributed," Spika added.
Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors rose, with real estate and utilities posting the sharpest gains.
At 11:26 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.00 points, or 0.01%, to 31,070.69, the S&P 500 gained 8.80 points, or 0.23%, to 3,809.99 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 72.54 points, or 0.55%, to 13,144.98.
Earnings reports from big U.S. banks including JPMorgan and Citigroup will mark the unofficial start to the fourth-quarter earnings season later this week. Investors will gauge remarks from executives for clues on corporate America's health.
Exxon Mobil Corp rose 1% after J.P. Morgan upgraded the stock to "overweight", saying cuts in capital spending had put the oil major on track for a stronger performance.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals climbed 1.5% as the U.S. government said it would buy 1.25 million additional doses of the company's COVID-19 antibody cocktail for about $2.63 billion.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.1-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P 500 posted 37 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 332 new highs and 10 new lows.
(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by 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.