Wall Street jumped on Monday (US time) as hopes of more fiscal stimulus helped the three main indexes recover from a sharp fall in the previous session, while investors awaited updates on the severity of President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 symptoms.
Doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre are treating Trump with a steroid that is normally used only in the most severe cases. Still, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Trump’s medical team will weigh whether he can leave the hospital later in the day.
In mid-afternoon trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1.1 per cent, the S&P 500 has added 1.2 per cent and the Nasdaq composite has advanced by 1.5 per cent. Futures are pointing to a gain of 11 points, or 0.2 per cent, at the open for the ASX. On Monday, the ASX surged by 2.6 per cent.
Ten of the 11 major S&P indexes were up, with energy , the worst performing sector this year, rising 1.8 per cent. Materials and information technology were also among the biggest gainers on the day.
Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals jumped 7.1 per cent after Trump’s physician said he had been treated with an intravenous dose of Regeneron’s dual antibody treatment. The wider healthcare index added 1.8 per cent.
“One of his treatments was an experimental drug from Regeneron (and) that’s showing that this could be a major component to treatments moving forward for people,” said Thomas Hayes, chairman at Great Hill Capital in New York.
Doubts about the scale of further fiscal aid and a slowing economic recovery have weighed on the S&P 500 recently, with the benchmark index in September logging its worst month since the coronavirus-driven crash earlier this year.
But Meadows said on Monday there was still potential to reach an agreement with US lawmakers on more coronavirus relief and that Trump was committed to getting the deal done.
“There’s more optimism around a bill coming to the market sooner rather than later,” said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at GLOBALT Investments in Atlanta, Georgia.
“We need another layer of assistance as the economy is still under tremendous stress that has come from the virus.”
After data last week showed an unexpected slowdown in the domestic manufacturing sector in September, figures on Monday showed activity in the broader services industry pulled above levels that prevailed before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heavyweight tech-related stocks including Apple , Nvidia, Amazon.com and Microsoft were up sharply after weighing heavily on the Nasdaq on Friday.
The S&P banking subindex added 1.8 per cent as the US Treasury 30-year yield hit its highest since late August.
Real estate – considered a defensive play – was the only S&P sector in the red.
MyoKardia surged 57.8 per cent after Bristol Myers said it would buy the company for about $US13 billion ($18.1 billion). Shares of Bristol Myers rose 0.3 per cent.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 2.95-to-1 on the NYSE and 3.19-to-1 on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 23 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 95 new highs and 11 new lows.
Source: Thanks smh.com