S&P, Dow head higher on new Fed stance, COVID progress
By Stephen Culp NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow advanced on Thursday as investors digested the U.S. Federal Reserve's new strategy to adopt an average inflation target and restore the United States to full employment, as well as a promising development in the fight against COVID-19.
By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow advanced on Thursday as investors digested the U.S. Federal Reserve's new strategy to adopt an average inflation target and restore the United States to full employment, as well as a promising development in the fight against COVID-19.
The Fed's new strategy sent Treasury yields higher, which gave a lift to interest rate-sensitive financials <.SPSY>.
The sector provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Dow, helping to put the former on track for a new record closing high and edging the latter closer to reclaiming positive territory for the year so far.
The Dow remains more than 3% below its record high reached in February.
Declines in market-leading momentum stocks capped the S&P's gains and held the Nasdaq in the red.
Shares of Abbott Laboratories
Economic recovery was forefront in Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's remarks made as part of the Kansas City Fed's virtual Jackson Hole symposium. In the speech Powell outlined the central bank's aggressive new strategy to support the economy by lifting inflation and returning the economy to full employment.
"We're going to have low interest rates as far as we can see and COVID is on the way out because of the inexpensive test that Abbot is introducing soon," said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. "It gives investors two reasons to be positive about equities."
But with last week's initial jobless claims stubbornly hovering above the 1 million mark, according to the Labor Department, a return to full employment currently appears to be a long haul.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 211.78 points, or 0.75%, to 28,543.7, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 10.01 points, or 0.29%, to 3,488.74 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 21.48 points, or 0.18%, to 11,643.58.
Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, financials enjoyed the biggest percentage gain while communications services <.SPLRCL>, weighed down by Netflix Inc
Shares of Walmart Inc
Luxury retailer Tiffany & Co
On the other end of the retail scale, discount stores Dollar General Corp
Cosmetics maker Coty Inc
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.05-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.30-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 37 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 58 new highs and 20 new lows.
(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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.