Stay-at-home stocks Amazon, Microsoft lift Nasdaq into gain for 2020
By Noel Randewich (Reuters) - The Nasdaq was on track to end Thursday in positive territory for 2020 after winning back the vast majority of steep losses caused in recent months by the coronavirus pandemic. Following a slump of almost a third between Feb.
By Noel Randewich
(Reuters) - The Nasdaq <.IXIC> was on track to end Thursday in positive territory for 2020 after winning back the vast majority of steep losses caused in recent months by the coronavirus pandemic.
Following a slump of almost a third between Feb. 19 and March 23, the tech-heavy index has rebounded over 30%, driven by strong gains in Amazon.com Inc
"Everything else has been so bad that tech is now seen as a safe-haven," said Dennis Dick, a trader at Bright Trading LLC. "It's like we're back in 1999, where if you had a website, you were hot. Now, if you specialize in selling online, you're hot."
(GRAPHIC: -Nasdaq erases coronavirus losses - https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/azgpomjewpd/Annotation%202020-05-07%20112416.jpg)
Thursday's 1.5% Nasdaq rally was fueled by a nearly 14% leap in PayPal Holdings Inc
The Nasdaq was on track to end the session up about 0.1% year to date.
A surprise rise in Chinese exports raised hopes of a faster economic recovery from what is expected to be a deep coronavirus -led recession, lifting stocks across Wall Street.
The Nasdaq's recent strong performance leaves it down about 8% from its February record high, just before fears of the coronavirus put an end to an 11-year bull market. By comparison, the S&P 500 remains down 14% from its record high, and the Dow is down 19% from its peak.
The Nasdaq has gained about 13% over the past 12 months. It has little exposure to oil stocks, which have been a drag on the S&P 500 as demand for crude evaporates due to the slump in economic activity caused by the coronavirus .
(GRAPHIC: Amazon and Microsoft fuel Nasdaq gains - https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/oakveznrzpr/Amazon%20and%20Nasdaq.jpg)
With people shopping from home due to orders to remain at home and avoid stores, Amazon has surged 9% since late February. After hitting a record high a week ago, it lost ground after warning it could post a quarterly loss due to heavy spending in response to the pandemic.
Microsoft, Wall Street's most valuable company, on Thursday rose 0.5%. It has been helped recently by increased use of its Teams chat and online meeting app and Xbox gaming services.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Lisa Shumaker)
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.