U.S. Stocks Close Sharply Higher, Tech Stocks Help Lead The Way
Stocks moved sharply higher during trading on Monday, extending the strong upward move seen over the past few sessions. The continued advance once again lifted the major averages to their best closing levels in over a month.
The major averages gave back some ground in the latter part of the trading day but remained firmly positive. The Dow advanced 250.62 points or 0.9 percent to 28,837.52, the Nasdaq spiked 296.32 points or 2.6 percent to 11,876.26 and the S&P 500 jumped 57.09 points or 1.6 percent to 3,534.22.
Technology stocks helped to lead the markets higher, as reflected by the significant advance by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.
Apple (AAPL) posted a standout gain, surging up by 6.4 percent, while Facebook (FB) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) also moved notably higher.
Shares of Twitter (TWTR) also showed a strong move to the upside after Deutsche Bank upgraded its rating on the social media giant to Buy from Hold.
The markets also continued to benefit from optimism about a new stimulus bill even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said talks will “remain at an impasse” until “serious issues” with the Trump administration’s latest proposal are resolved.
The White House has increased its offer to $1.8 billion in its latest proposal, but Pelosi still called the administration’s proposed bill “grossly inadequate.”
“The news is filled with the numbers in terms of dollars. The heart of the matter is: can we allow the virus to rage on and ignore science as the Administration proposes, or will they accept the scientific strategic plan in the Heroes Act to crush the virus,” Pelosi said in a letter to her Democratic colleagues.
“We have other differences in terms of who benefits from the spending,” she added. “But in terms of addressing testing, tracing and treatment, what the Trump Administration has offered is wholly insufficient.”
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows sent a letter to members of the House and Senate accusing Democrats of refusing to compromise on bipartisan legislation.
“It is not just about the top-line number but also about legislation that can be passed by both the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Trump to help the American people,” Mnuchin and Meadows wrote.
Mnuchin and Meadows urged Congress to vote on a bill allowing the administration to spend unused Paycheck Protection Program funds while negotiations on a comprehensive package continue.
“The all-or-nothing approach is an unacceptable response to the American people,” Mnuchin and Meadows wrote.
Retail stocks turned in some of the market’s best performances on the day, driving the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index up by 2.3 percent to its best closing level in over a month.
Shares of Dillard’s (DDS) soared after Berkshire Hathaway investment manager Ted Weschler disclosed a nearly 6 percent personal stake in the department store chain.
Significant strength was also visible among software stocks, as reflected by the 1.9 percent gain posted by the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index. The index also reached a one-month closing high.
Broker stocks also showed a strong move to the upside on the day, resulting in a 1.8 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index. With the advance, the index ended the session at its best closing level in well over seven months.
Computer hardware, semiconductor and banking stocks also saw considerable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Monday, although Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index bucked the uptrend and dipped by 0.3 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index spiked by 2.6 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose by 0.6 percent.
Most European stocks also moved to the upside on the day, with the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both climbing by 0.7 percent. However, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the bond markets were closed on the day due to the Columbus Day holiday. Treasuries saw considerable volatility last Friday before ending the session slightly higher.
Developments in Washington regarding a new stimulus bill are likely to remain in the spotlight on Tuesday, although earnings news may also attract some attention.
Citigroup (C), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) are among the companies releasing their quarterly results before the start of trading on Tuesday.
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