Wall Street rises as upbeat Cisco and Disney results help fuel optimism

By Sinéad Carew NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street gained ground on Friday with upbeat earnings reports helping to drive optimism about the economy even as investors weighed a current surge in virus cases against hopes for successful COVID-19 vaccines. After a volatile trading week where the market was whipsawed between hopes and fears around the virus, Cisco Systems Inc led gainers among the S&P 500 after its quarterly report showed a work-from-home driven surge in demand. While the network gear maker jumped 7%, Walt Disney Co rose 2% as its rapidly growing streaming video business, and a partial recovery at its theme parks tempered its quarterly loss.

Reuters November 14, 2020 02:06:08 IST
Wall Street rises as upbeat Cisco and Disney results help fuel optimism

Wall Street rises as upbeat Cisco and Disney results help fuel optimism

By Sinéad Carew

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street gained ground on Friday with upbeat earnings reports helping to drive optimism about the economy even as investors weighed a current surge in virus cases against hopes for successful COVID-19 vaccines.

After a volatile trading week where the market was whipsawed between hopes and fears around the virus, Cisco Systems Inc led gainers among the S&P 500 after its quarterly report showed a work-from-home driven surge in demand.

While the network gear maker jumped 7%, Walt Disney Co rose 2% as its rapidly growing streaming video business, and a partial recovery at its theme parks tempered its quarterly loss.

The reports likely helped investors look beyond a current surge in virus cases and a bleak winter ahead, said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta.

"We know we've got some tough times ahead but mid-2021 you can potentially see that with a vaccine and better treatment instead of the coronavirus causing more damage you see that there's a recovery ahead," said Martin. "You're at that time of year when people are starting to look forward into 2021."

Martin also pointed to hopes that Moderna Inc MRNA.O is close to releasing details of its vaccine progress, after the company said on Wednesday it had enough data for a first interim analysis of the late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

Friday's outperformance of more economically sensitive sectors including energy <.SPNY>, up 4%, and industrials <.SPLRCI>, up 1.9%, over growth sectors like technology <.SPLRCT>, up 0.5%, was an indication of "optimism around the economy getting back on its footing," according to Martin.

At 2:57 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 398.05 points, or 1.37%, at 29,478.22, the S&P 500 <.SPX> had gained 43.88 points, or 1.24%, to 3,580.89 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 91.81 points, or 0.78%, to 11,801.40.

With third-quarter reports released from about 90% of S&P 500 companies Refinitiv IBES estimates now show profits falling 7.8% from last year compared with an Oct. 1 expectation for a 21.4% slump.

The three major U.S. stock indexes fell on Thursday as more than a dozen U.S. states reported a doubling of new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, with Chicago's mayor issuing a month-long stay-at-home advisory.

But a senior adviser to President-elect Joe Biden said there were no plans for nationwide lockdowns next year and instead talked about restrictions for specific regions when the virus spread is bad there.

Positive early data from a large vaccine study earlier this week had prompted a rotation into the cyclical sectors and put the S&P 500 <.SPX> and Dow <.DJI> on track for their second weekly gains in a row.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq <.IXIC>, however, was headed for a weekly decline as investors booked profits in technology stocks, which have benefited from a stay-at-home environment.

Meanwhile, Biden's victory in the battleground state of Arizona expanded his electoral vote margin, but the official transition remains in limbo as President Donald Trump refuses to concede.

Growth stocks <.RLG>, currently largely comprised of tech companies, edged 0.3% higher, while value names <.RLV>, which currently include mostly cyclical stocks such as banks and energy, advanced 1.8%.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 4.44-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.49-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted eight new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 67 new highs and 11 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Stephen Culp in New York, Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Shounak Dasgupta and Tom Brown)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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