Friday July 3rd, 2020 9:42PM

Tech companies lead US stocks broadly higher

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Wednesday as solid gains by technology companies helped the market recoup some of its losses from a day earlier.

Small-company stocks also stood out, beating the rest of the market. Banks, retailers and homebuilders also notched gains. Utilities were the biggest laggard.

Investors appeared to welcome new insights from the Federal Reserve's last meeting of policymakers. The central bank released the minutes from the two-day March meeting, which showed that a majority of Fed officials believed the central bank could keep interest rates unchanged the rest of this year.

The rally was a reversal for the market following a slide on Tuesday that ended an eight-day winning streak as investors turned their attention to the next wave of corporate earnings.

"It was just a little bit of an overreaction yesterday," said Karyn Cavanaugh, senior markets strategist at Voya Investment Management. "This is a little bit of an uneasy period because we're waiting for earnings to start."

The S&P 500 index rose 10.01 points, or 0.3%, to 2,888.21.

The 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered from an early slide to gain 6.58 points, or less than 0.1%, to 26,157.16.

The Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, added 54.97 points, or 0.7%, to 7,964.24.

Small-company stocks, which investors tend to favor when they're feeling bullish about the economy, rose more than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 picked up 21.87 points, or 1.4%, to 1,581.55.

Major indexes in Europe finished mostly higher.

Despite a downturn in stocks on Tuesday, the broader market has been steadily gaining in 2019. The S&P 500 is up 15.2% for the year.

Bond prices rose, sending yields lower, after the government reported that a key measure of consumer price inflation remained in check last month. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which is used to set interest rates on mortgages and many other kinds of loans, fell to 2.47% from 2.50% late Tuesday.

Traders turned their attention Wednesday to corporate earnings, as Delta Air Lines kicked off the first-quarter earnings reporting season. The company's results easily beat forecasts, sending its shares and those of other big airlines higher.

Levi Strauss also gained 4% after swinging to a quarterly profit in its first period since becoming a publicly traded company again.

Analysts expect first-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 index to contract for the first time in nearly three years and are closely tracking forecasts for the remainder of the 2019.

"Earnings are going to really be the barometer for what's going on with global growth," Cavanaugh said. "A lot of people are expecting negative earnings growth. I think we're going to be positively surprised, and that will help investors feel a little bit more at ease."

Investors also pored over the latest Fed meeting minutes, looking for clues that might signal the central bank's next move on interest rates.

The minutes showed that a majority of Fed officials last month believed that economic conditions would likely warrant keeping the Fed's benchmark policy unchanged for the rest of this year. Several officials said their view could shift in either direction based on incoming data, according to minutes of the meeting.

At the meeting, the Fed left its key policy rate unchanged and trimmed its rate hikes outlook this year from two to none. Some economists believe the Fed could actually start cutting rates later this year if the economy slows further.

Weaker growth and lower inflation expectations could prompt the Fed to cut rates, while faster growth and rising inflation expectations could prompt it to resume raising rates.

"This is a data-dependent Fed, and that's very positive and very good," said Tony Roth, chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank left its policy goals and interest rates unchanged Wednesday as it weighs looming risks to the region's economy from trade disputes.

Technology stocks led the market higher Wednesday. Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices rose 2.2%.

Financial companies also notched gains. Invesco climbed 2.4% and Goldman Sachs Group rose 1.2%.

Delta Air Lines shares lifted off after it gave investors a better than-expected quarterly report and forecast. The stock jumped as much as 2% before giving up some of its early gains. It shares gained 1.6%.

Shares in other airlines also rose. American Airlines Group gained 2.1% and Southwest Airlines added 1.4%.

Not all corporate report cards were encouraging.

WD-40, which makes the popular lubricant for home and industrial uses, fell 5.1% after its fiscal second-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street forecasts.

Lyft tumbled 10.9%, adding to a string of losses since the ride-hailing service made its stock market debut on March 29. The latest slide in the stock, which is now 16.5% below Lyft's IPO price, comes as rival Uber is reportedly close to filing paperwork ahead of its own IPO.

Energy futures ended mostly higher. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1% to settle at $64.61 a barrel. Brent crude gained 1.6% to close at $71.73 a barrel.

Wholesale gasoline climbed 3.5% to $2.07 a gallon, heating oil picked up 2.1% to $2.09 a gallon and natural gas was little changed at $2.70 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The dollar fell to 110.96 yen from 111.11 yen on Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1271 from $1.1267.

Gold rose 0.4% to $1,313.90 an ounce, silver added 0.2% to $15.24 an ounce and copper dropped 0.3% to $2.93 a pound.


AP Business Writer Damian J. Troise contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Financial Services
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Yahoo to pay $117.5M in latest settlement of massive breach
Nearly 200 million people ensnared in Yahoo data breach eligible for up to $117.5 million in free services, other potential restitution
4:20PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Backstage at Brexit summit: Huddles, iPad jokes, cod dinner
A daylong diplomatic ballet is playing out in the European Quarter of Brussels for another high-stakes Brexit summit
4:15PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Science fact: Astronomers reveal first image of a black hole
Humanity has gotten its first glimpse of a black hole, and it looks like a flaming doughnut
4:14PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Tech companies lead US stocks broadly higher
Stocks are headed higher on Wall Street in late-afternoon trading, placing the market on track to recoup some of its losses from a day earlier
3:50PM ( 36 minutes ago )
May asks EU for Brexit delay, but Macron says no guarantee
European Union leaders are deciding whether to save Britain from a precipitous and potentially calamitous Brexit, or to give the foot-dragging departing nation a shove over the edge
3:48PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Pence says US wants Maduro out and 'all options' on table
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has told the U.N. Security Council that the Trump administration is determined to restore democracy to Venezuela _ preferably through diplomatic and economic pressure, but "all options are on the table."
3:45PM ( 40 minutes ago )
AP Business
Democrats want feds to target the 'black box' of AI bias
Congress is starting to show interest in prying open the "black box" of tech companies' artificial intelligence much the same way the federal government checks under car hoods and audits banks
2:00PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: CEOs see cybersecurity as risk for bank system
Wednesday's House hearing on banks is nominally about determining how much safer the financial system is, but few finance committee members are raising the subject
1:21PM ( 3 hours ago )
Nearly $1B in contracts awarded for border fence sections
The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded contracts totaling nearly $1 billion for removal and replacement of vehicle fencing with pedestrian fencing along two sections of the U.S.-Mexico border
1:01PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
CEOs of big banks face off with House Democrats
The heads of some of the largest banks in the U.S. are appearing in front of Congress Wednesday, for the most significant hearing on the banking industry since Democrats took control of the House
1:05PM ( 3 hours ago )
US consumer prices rose 0.4% in March on higher gas costs
US consumer prices climbed 0.4% in March on higher costs for gasoline, electricity and shelter
11:46AM ( 4 hours ago )
Europe hurt by US trade threats, central bank says
The head of the European Central Bank says that global trade conflicts, including U.S. threats to put tariffs on imports, are holding back the eurozone economy
10:51AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Western banks help Saudis raise $12 billion in bonds
Saud Arabia's oil company has raised $12 billion in a bond issue that shows Western investors are keen to do business with the kingdom despite the scandal over the killing of a dissident journalist.
12:53PM ( 3 hours ago )
US stocks close lower, ending 8-day win streak for S&P 500
Industrial companies led a broad slide in stocks on Wall Street Tuesday, ending the benchmark S&P 500's eight-day winning streak
4:57PM ( 23 hours ago )
Standard Chartered to pay $1.1B for violating Iran sanctions
Britain's Standard Chartered Bank agrees to $1.1 billion settlement in sanctions case
4:19PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
Trump aiming to make it harder for states to block pipelines
President Donald Trump wants to make it harder for states to scuttle pipelines and other energy projects based on concerns about their impact on water quality.
1:48PM ( 2 hours ago )
Police: 1 dead, 15 injured in North Carolina gas explosion
Police say one person has been killed in a gas explosion at a building in downtown Durham, North Carolina
1:32PM ( 2 hours ago )
Sanders' adds long-term care to his 'Medicare for All' plan
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders reveals a new version of his "Medicare for All" plan, shaking up the 2020 presidential campaign by reopening the debate over his call to eliminate private health insurance
1:25PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Bank of America raising hourly minimum wage to $20
Bank of America ups minimum wage to $20 an hour over a two-year period, starting with a hike next month
1:28PM ( 1 day ago )
IMF forecast: Global growth will weaken this year to 3.3%
IMF cuts outlook for world economic growth this year to 3.3%, citing worsened trade frictions
11:17AM ( 1 day ago )
Job gain points to a US economy slowing but hardly stalling
March hiring gain may reflect a downshift to a more durable pace of US growth
6:10PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Business - Financial Services
Yahoo to pay $117.5M in latest settlement of massive breach
Nearly 200 million people ensnared in Yahoo data breach eligible for up to $117.5 million in free services, other potential restitution
4:20PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Backstage at Brexit summit: Huddles, iPad jokes, cod dinner
A daylong diplomatic ballet is playing out in the European Quarter of Brussels for another high-stakes Brexit summit
4:15PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Science fact: Astronomers reveal first image of a black hole
Humanity has gotten its first glimpse of a black hole, and it looks like a flaming doughnut
4:14PM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: Nielsen opens new DHS campus on her last day
Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is welcoming employees to their new campus on her last day on the job
3:57PM ( 28 minutes ago )
AP Interview: Pelosi: 'I don't trust Barr; I trust Mueller'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she doesn't trust Attorney General William Barr and suggests his testimony on 'spying' on Donald Trump's campaign undermines his independence as the nation's top law enforcement officer
3:56PM ( 29 minutes ago )