Wall Street climbs as investors hold out for recovery; Nasdaq at 3-month high
By Medha Singh and Ambar Warrick (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes surged and the Nasdaq hit its highest level in three months on Wednesday as investors clung to hopes of a recovery from a coronavirus-fueled slump amid signs of more stimulus for ailing sectors. The tech-heavy index, now about 5% below its all-time high hit in February, was boosted by Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc, which were trading at record levels, as well as Apple Inc. The S&P 500 was about 12% below its all-time peak and the Dow Jones index was short by 17%
By Medha Singh and Ambar Warrick
(Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes surged and the Nasdaq hit its highest level in three months on Wednesday as investors clung to hopes of a recovery from a coronavirus -fueled slump amid signs of more stimulus for ailing sectors.
The tech-heavy index, now about 5% below its all-time high hit in February, was boosted by Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc, which were trading at record levels, as well as Apple Inc.
The S&P 500 was about 12% below its all-time peak and the Dow Jones index was short by 17%.
"It relates to the reopening of the economy... some states are further along than others, but it's giving a little bit of confidence to the markets," said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Slatestone Wealth Llc in New York.
"If we can break through the 3,000 level (on the S&P 500) with some conviction, that's going to be a positive sign, and it's probably going to draw more money off the sidelines."
The three indexes have rallied more than 30% from March lows on unprecedented stimulus, but gains have been capped this month as traders digest mixed headlines on progress in developing a coronavirus vaccine.
Moderna Inc's Chief Executive Officer said a best-case scenario would see them filing for an approval for their potential COVID-19 vaccine by end 2020 or early 2021, days after announcing promising data from a very small early-stage trial.
Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell have said the government and the central bank were considering more steps to ensure the worst-hit areas of the economy received adequate support.
All eyes are now on the minutes from the Fed's latest policy meeting expected at 2 p.m. ET or 1800 GMT.
At 11:09 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 381.54 points, or 1.58%, at 24,588.40, the S&P 500 was up 50.62 points, or 1.73%, at 2,973.56. The Nasdaq Composite was up 181.84 points, or 1.98%, at 9,366.95.
Gains were broad-based with the cyclical sectors including industrials, energy and materials posting their biggest percentage gains on hopes of a pick-up in demand.
Home improvement chain Lowe's Cos Inc rose 0.5% after posting higher quarterly same-store sales.
Analog Devices Inc gained 8.4% after the chipmaker forecast third-quarter profit ahead of expectations.
Target Corp slipped 1.7% after the big box retailer reported a 64% plunge in quarterly profit, pummeled by costs to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
S&P 1500 airlines index gained about 4.1% as Delta Air Lines Inc Chief Executive Officer said he was confident travel will return in the next 12 to 18 months.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 5.50-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 4.85-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 13 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 62 new highs and seven new lows.
(Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Arun Koyyur)
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.