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Stocks open higher on Wall Street, following gains overseas

2 years 11 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, June 23 2020 Jun 23, 2020 June 23, 2020 7:38 AM June 23, 2020 in News
Source: Associated Press

Stocks on Wall Street got off to a solid start Tuesday with broad gains for the market following a rally in Europe, where indexes marched higher after some encouraging economic data.

The S&P 500 was up 0.8% in early trading, extending its gains from a day earlier. The benchmark index is on pace for its third straight monthly gain as investors continue to mostly shrug off a rise in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. and other countries and focus on the prospects for an economic recovery as businesses shut due to the outbreak reopen.

Technology sector stocks, which led the way higher as the market rebounded the past three months from a 34% plunge, helped power the latest gains. Banks, health care stocks and companies that rely on consumer spending were among the big gainers. Bond yields rose slightly, another sign that investors were regaining confidence in the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 201 points, or 0.8%, to 26,225. The Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, gained 0.9%. The index has only fallen twice so far in June. Small company stocks were also notching solid gains. The Russell 2000 index was up 0.9%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 0.71% from 0.70% late Monday. It tends to move with investors’ expectations for the economy and inflation.

Encouraging economic data, including retail sales and hiring, have helped stoke optimism among investors that the reopening of businesses in the U.S. and other countries will pull the economy out of its recession relatively quickly. The market has continued to climb, despite bouts of volatility, even as a rise in new coronvairus cases clouds the prospects for an economic recovery.

The World Health Organization said over the weekend that the pandemic is still in its ascendancy. The U.S., which is seeing rapid increases in cases across the South and West, has the most infections and deaths by far in the world, with 2.3 million cases and over 120,000 confirmed virus-related deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Still, investors have been placing more weight on economic data releases that suggest economies that have reopened are making strides to emerge from a deep recession.

On Tuesday, the Commerce Department said sales of new U.S. homes jumped 16.6% in May to an annual rate of 676,000, exceeding Wall Street’s forecasts. Homebuilders rose broadly. Beazer Homes USA climbed 2.1% in the early going.

Further updates on the U.S. economy are expected toward the end of this week, when the government will issue data on consumer spending, weekly unemployment aid applications and durable goods orders.

European shares advanced after a measure of economic activity in the eurozone, the purchasing managers’ index, rose significantly in June from the month before. The index was just shy of the level that indicates the economy is growing again after a devastating plunge in the spring.

France’s CAC 40 gained 1.2%, while Germany’s DAX rallied 2.2%. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 1.1%.

Asian markets overcame some early turbulence caused by reported comments by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro suggesting the U.S. trade deal with China was in trouble. President Donald Trump later said the agreement was still on.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil was up 0.6% to $41 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, was up 0.1% to $43.13 per barrel.

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