Wall St edges higher on growing vaccine bets, Boeing gains
By Shivani Kumaresan and Medha Singh (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 inched higher on Wednesday as Boeing rose after it won U.S. approval to resume flights of its 737 MAX jet, while growing optimism that a working vaccine was within reach also lifted the mood. The planemaker advanced 1% as it geared up to resume deliveries of the best-selling jet again after a 20-month grounding following two fatal crashes
By Shivani Kumaresan and Medha Singh
(Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 inched higher on Wednesday as Boeing rose after it won U.S. approval to resume flights of its 737 MAX jet, while growing optimism that a working vaccine was within reach also lifted the mood.
The planemaker advanced 1% as it geared up to resume deliveries of the best-selling jet again after a 20-month grounding following two fatal crashes.
The news also lifted the S&P 1500 airlines index 3.5%, with American Airlines rising 4.3% and Southwest Airlines adding 3% as the carriers laid out plans to fly the aircraft again.
Earlier in the day, Pfizer Inc said it would apply for emergency U.S. authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine within days and disclosed final results from a late-stage trial that showed it was 95% effective. The drugmaker's shares rose 1.7%.
The announcement comes after Moderna Inc on Monday released preliminary data for its COVID-19 vaccine, showing similar effectiveness.
"The biggest positive news is Pfizer is not only going to get approval for the vaccine but the vaccine coming at 95% effectiveness which is terrific," said Christopher Grisanti, chief equity strategist, MAI Capital Management, New York.
Meanwhile, the number of reported global daily deaths from the coronavirus stood at its highest ever on Tuesday, as the global epicenter the United States entered winter.
At 11:54 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 79.53 points, or 0.27%, to 29,862.88, the S&P 500 gained 5.49 points, or 0.15%, to 3,615.02 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 12.90 points, or 0.11%, to 11,912.24.
Target Corp rose 4.4% after the big-box retailer blew past expectations for quarterly profit and sales, as its quick delivery services boosted online shopping.
Discount store operator TJX Companies Inc rose about 4% after topping estimates for quarterly results.
"With earnings announcements coming in better than expected from the retail space and the positive news on Boeing, it should drive interest in cyclicals," said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth, New York.
S&P sectors sensitive to economic growth, such as financials, industrials and energy provided some of the biggest boosts to the S&P 500.
Lowe's Cos Inc tumbled 6.4% as the home improvement chain forecast holiday-quarter earnings largely below analysts' estimates.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 2.2-to-1 ratio and by a 1.6-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P 500 posted 26 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 190 new highs and nine new lows.
(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan, Sruthi Shankar, Medha Singh, Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)
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.