Technology shares boosted Wall Street’s main indexes on Wednesday as early signs of an economic rebound dominated over fears of another lockdown due to a jump in coronavirus cases across the country.
Safe-haven gold rose more than 1% as the number of confirmed U.S. cases surpassed 3 million, affecting nearly one of every 100 Americans. California, Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas shattered their previous daily record highs for new infections.
“We expect the tug of war between better economic data and concerns over rising COVID-19 cases to continue through the month unless we get better daily virus numbers, and/or news on a vaccine,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
The Nasdaq notched an intraday record high on Tuesday but all the three main stock indexes finished lower as investors booked profits following a strong run on the back of upbeat economic data.
Bolstering hopes of a post-pandemic rebound, analysts said any setback in business activity due to the recent surge in infections would be short term, leaving their long-term forecasts for economic growth unchanged.
Markets also appeared to be in a wait-and-see mode before the beginning of the second-quarter earnings season, which kicks off next week with reports from big Wall Street banks.
Technology sectors firmed 1.2%, the most among ten of the 11 major S&P sectors trading higher.
At 10:05 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 196.92 points, or 0.76%, at 26,087.10, the S&P 500 was up 23.65 points, or 0.75%, at 3,168.97, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 112.00 points, or 1.08%, at 10,455.89.
Biogen Inc jumped 5.8% after the company said it submitted the marketing application for its experimental Alzheimer’s disease therapy, aducanumab.
Allstate Corp slipped 2.1% as the U.S. insurer said it would buy National General Holdings Corp for about $4 billion in cash, scaling up its auto insurance business at a time when the coronavirus has crushed traffic on roads and reduced claims.
Levi Strauss & Co fell 6.9% as the denim apparel maker cautioned its business would be hit in the second half of the year, even as its sales have been improving at its reopened stores.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.86-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.50-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 13 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 69 new highs and 10 new lows. (Reporting by C Nivedita and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)