Wall Street gains amid economic hopes; tech shares decline
By Caroline Valetkevitch (Reuters) - The Dow and S&P 500 rose on Wednesday, powered by banks stocks, as optimism for an economic recovery as lockdowns continued to ease overshadowed worries of simmering U.S.-China tensions. Declines in technology shares limited the advance, with the Nasdaq underperforming the other major indexes. The S&P 500 financial index provided the biggest boost to the benchmark index, sending it past the psychologically key 3,000 level in intraday trading for a second day in a row.
By Caroline Valetkevitch
(Reuters) - The Dow and S&P 500 rose on Wednesday, powered by banks stocks, as optimism for an economic recovery as lockdowns continued to ease overshadowed worries of simmering U.S.-China tensions.
Declines in technology shares limited the advance, with the Nasdaq underperforming the other major indexes.
The S&P 500 financial index <.SPSY> provided the biggest boost to the benchmark index, sending it past the psychologically key 3,000 level in intraday trading for a second day in a row. In contrast, heavyweights Amazon.com
"It's the tech stocks that are probably most sensitive to Chinese growth," said Sameer Samana, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in St. Louis.
"If the market is going to go higher from here, you're going to have to have broader participation, but you are going to need those large-cap tech companies to be along for the ride, because they make up such a large portion of the benchmark," Samana said.
The easing of lockdowns, optimism about an eventual COVID-19 vaccine and massive U.S. stimulus have powered the recent stock market rally, with the S&P 500 <.SPX> on Tuesday ending at its highest level since early March.
Even so, U.S. tensions with China have cast a cloud on markets. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Washington would announce its response to China's planned national security legislation on Hong Kong before the end of the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 317.75 points, or 1.27%, to 25,312.86, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 21.81 points, or 0.73%, to 3,013.58 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 6.73 points, or 0.07%, to 9,346.95.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.70-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.81-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted five new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 35 new highs and eight new lows.
(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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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
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