Monday April 6th, 2020 7:36AM

Stocks march higher as investors head to 3Q finish line

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks climbed in afternoon trading Monday, and the S&P 500 was on track to close out yet another tumultuous quarter with a modest gain.

Technology and health care stocks led the way, as nearly three stocks rose for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Apple rose 2.4%, and Merck jumped 2.5%.

Banks wobbled between small gains and losses while energy companies slid with declining oil prices. National Oilwell Varco lost 3.8%, and ConocoPhillips fell 1.8%.

Bond prices were steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held at 1.67%, where it was late Friday.

Some signs of progress in the U.S.-China trade war helped to lift stocks Monday. China said on Sunday that its top trade negotiator will lead talks that are expected to take place after Oct. 7. The reassuring news follows a report Friday that the U.S. might seek to escalate the feud again by considering ways to limit U.S. investments in China. The Treasury Department, though, said there weren't currently plans to block Chinese companies from listing shares on U.S. stock exchanges.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.7% as of 2:50 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 178 points, or 0.7%, to 26,998. The Nasdaq rose 0.9%.

CHOPPY QUARTER: Stock markets around the world heaved up, down and back again during the quarter, usually with worries about President Donald Trump's trade war with China.

Trump shocked markets in August when he said he's raise tariffs on Chinese goods, which sent stocks and bond yields sinking. Stocks started climbing again in September as both sides made conciliatory moves to ease tensions ahead of another round of planned talks in October.

Yields, meanwhile, remain lower for the quarter after the Federal Reserve cut short-term rates twice. They were the first rate cuts by the Fed since the financial crisis was swamping the economy in 2008.

The S&P 500 and the Dow are both on track for quarterly gains of a little more than 1%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq never fully recovered from the August hit and is close to flat.

Small companies took more damage, as they typically do when investors are worried about the threat of a recession. The Russell 2000 is on track for a 2.3% loss.

ANALYST'S TAKE: Investors are putting a frustrating quarter behind them and gearing up for what could be another tough period. Even beyond the U.S.-China talks, the next three months have plenty of factors to keep markets on edge. Besides the United Kingdom's pending exit from the European Union, investors are also waiting to see whether Germany will enter a recession and how the new incoming head of the European Central Bank performs.

Closer to home, the impeachment inquiry into Trump could throw up more uncertainty.

"The consumer's been enough to keep the economy moving, but things like consumer confidence seem to be plateauing," said Emily Roland, co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock Investment Management.

The latest earnings results from companies in the next few weeks will give investors a better picture of the economy's potential direction. "We need that earnings engine to kick in to drive markets higher," Roland said.

HOME STRETCH AHEAD: Investors are heading into the final quarter of 2019 with the trade war hanging over the market and corporate financial results on the way in mid-October.

The next round of trade negotiations could be the key to heading off another round of destructive tariffs in December. Both sides have postponed some of the more worrisome tariff increases, which would more directly raise prices on consumer goods and potentially crimp consumer spending.

Investors will soon get a better glimpse of the trade war's impact with the next round of corporate financial results later this month. Analysts are forecasting that profits will contract by more than 3%, according to FactSet.

Last year, the market slumped 14% in the fourth quarter as investors became rattled over a slowdown in economic growth and the Federal Reserve's plans to keep raising interest rates. This time around, the Federal Reserve has shifted gears by cutting interest rates in an effort to help shore up economic growth. The central bank has signaled that it is ready to take additional measures, if necessary, to offset the damage being done by the trade war.

COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.84 to settle at $54.07 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell $1.13 to $60.78 a barrel.

Natural gas dropped 7 cents to $2.33 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil lost 4 cents to $1.91 per gallon and wholesale gasoline fell 5 cents to $1.60 per gallon.

Gold dropped $33.50 to $1,472.90 per ounce, silver fell 65 cents to $17.00 per ounce and copper lost 2 cents to $2.58 per pound.

OVERSEAS: Stocks in Europe moved broadly higher. Unemployment in the 19 countries that use the euro fell in August to its lowest rate since May 2008, according to the European Union's statistics agency. Germany, Europe's biggest economy, separately reported a drop in its unemployment rate.

Asian markets were mixed. Chinese manufacturing improved in September, even as demand for Chinese goods has been hurt by slower economic growth and the trade feud with the U.S.


AP Business Writer Stan Choe contributed.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Agriculture, AP Business - Poultry & Egg, AP Business - Financial Services, AP Business - Health Care, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
CVS stops sale of heartburn drugs with suspect contaminant
CVS pulls popular heartburn treatment Zantac off store shelves after warnings by health regulators
1:32PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Russia: Our approval is needed to publish Trump-Putin calls
The Kremlin says transcripts of calls between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin can only be published by mutual agreement
1:32PM ( 14 minutes ago )
2 died before political donor's arrest. Some question delay
Two drug deaths and an overdose at a political donor's apartment have led to criticism about why Los Angeles prosecutors didn't arrest him sooner
1:30PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Memphis new GM totally revamps Grizzlies' roster
The Latest: Memphis new GM Zach Kleiman totally revamps Grizzlies' roster
12:54PM ( 52 minutes ago )
California to let college athletes sign endorsement deals
California will let college athletes hire agents and make money from endorsements, defying the NCAA and setting up a likely legal challenge that could reshape U.S. amateur sports
12:44PM ( 1 hour ago )
McCartney presents eco-manifesto at Paris Fashion Week show
Riding on the increased focus on the fight against climate change, the fashion industry's eco-pioneer Stella McCartney turned parts of her Paris Fashion Week show into a manifesto on ecology
12:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Forever 21 fashion chain files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Low-price fashion chain Forever 21, a one-time hot destination for teen shoppers that fell victim to its own rapid expansion and changing consumer tastes, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
6:41AM ( 7 hours ago )
World shares mixed on jitters over US policy toward China
World shares mixed on jitters over US policy toward China stock listings
5:30AM ( 8 hours ago )
Asian shares lower on jitters over US policy toward China
Shares fall in Asia on talk of limits on U.S. stock listings by Chinese companies undermined hopes for progress in trade negotiations
3:56AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
AP-NORC poll: Most disapprove of Trump on race relations
A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds about two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Trump on race relations
11:05AM ( 2 hours ago )
Draghi calls for more government spending to support growth
European Central Bank head Mario Draghi is saying that its stimulus measures including negative interest rates will have to stay in place longer if governments do not step up growth-friendly spending
9:07AM ( 4 hours ago )
China's Xi pays respect to Mao ahead of 70-year celebrations
Chinese Communist Party leader and President Xi Jinping leads other top officials in paying respects to the founder of the Communist state, Mao Zedong
4:26AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Global stocks subdued as quarter's end impacts on trading
Global stock markets traded in fairly narrow ranges on Monday on the last day of the trading quarter
8:21AM ( 5 hours ago )
US stocks fall; S&P 500 ends with 2nd straight weekly loss
Wall Street capped a choppy week with a second straight weekly loss for the S&P 500 as worries about a potential escalation in the trade war between the U.S. and China erased early gains.
4:47PM ( 2 days ago )
Indexes edge lower as weakness in tech offsets bank gains
U.S. stocks edge lower in midday trading as broad gains for banks were offset by sharp drops in technology companies
12:00PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
Businesses having a harder time getting credit, survey finds
Small and mid-sized businesses are having a harder time getting credit and that's having an impact on hiring plans
11:45AM ( 2 hours ago )
President's windmill hatred is a worry for booming industry
Trump's windmill hatred is a worry for the booming wind power industry
8:12AM ( 5 hours ago )
Thousands at Swiss climate rally demand end of fossil fuel
Thousands of demonstrators covering a wide age spectrum have come together in Switzerland's capital to call for more action to curb climate change
10:04AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Industries
New California lab seeks cure to deadly citrus disease
California is opening a new front in the battle against a disease that has decimated citrus groves across the world and looms as a threat to the state's orange crop
6:09PM ( 3 days ago )
Stomp and squish: Pennsylvanians battle 'nightmare' bugs
A bad bug is making life miserable for some Pennsylvanian residents and business owners
5:29PM ( 3 days ago )
McDonald's takes a nibble of the plant-based burger
McDonald's gets into the meatless game with limited testing of Beyond Meat burgers in Canada
1:52PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Business - Agriculture
O'Rourke visits town targeted by 'terrifying' ICE raids
Democrat Beto O'Rourke has become the first presidential candidate to visit Mississippi towns where federal immigration agents raided chicken plants and arrested nearly 700 people
5:57PM ( 1 month ago )
'Let our voices be heard': March against immigration raids
'Let our voices be heard': Young people march from a Catholic church in Mississippi to a town square to protest hundreds of arrests in immigration raids on poultry plants; churches offer aid and solace to those swept up in crackdown
10:55PM ( 1 month ago )
The Latest: Mississippi plant sets job fair after raid
One of the Mississippi chicken processing plants caught in an immigration raid plans a job fair Monday
6:40PM ( 1 month ago )
AP Business - Poultry & Egg
GM reverses course, says strikers will keep health coverage
General Motors now says striking workers will get company-paid health insurance, 9 days after saying coverage would be cut off
6:06PM ( 3 days ago )
US stock indexes move lower as investors play defense
Health care and energy companies are helping pull stocks lower on Wall Street as the start of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and new government data showing slower U.S. economic growth puts investors in a selling mood
1:35PM ( 4 days ago )
US House passes bill giving pot businesses access to banking
The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that would grant legal marijuana businesses access to banking, a measure that would clear up a longstanding headache for the industry
10:31PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Business - Financial Services
UK medical drug supply still uncertain in a no-deal Brexit
Britain's government watchdog says there is still a "significant amount" of work to do to ensure Britain has an adequate medicines supply in case of a no-deal Brexit
7:01AM ( 3 days ago )
2nd Ebola vaccine to be used in Congo, as UN efforts slammed
2nd Ebola vaccine to be used in Congo, while Doctors Without Borders criticizes UN efforts
5:37AM ( 1 week ago )
Nurses, auto strikes may be signs of awakening US unions
Registered nurses staged a one-day strike against Tenet Health hospitals in Florida, California and Arizona on Friday, demanding better working conditions and higher wages
2:49PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Collins expected to plead guilty in insider trading case
Court records show U.S. Rep. Chris Collins is expected to plead guilty in an insider trading case accusing him of leaking confidential information in an urgent phone call made from a White House picnic
1:34PM ( 12 minutes ago )
CVS stops sale of heartburn drugs with suspect contaminant
CVS pulls popular heartburn treatment Zantac off store shelves after warnings by health regulators
1:32PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Russia: Our approval is needed to publish Trump-Putin calls
The Kremlin says transcripts of calls between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin can only be published by mutual agreement
1:32PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Ukraine's leader: We can't be ordered to investigate Biden
Ukraine's president says his country won't be pressured into opening an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden or his son
1:27PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Temperatures drop in Rockies as Montana digs out from snow
Temperatures have plunged across the Rocky Mountains as residents in Montana dug out from a wintry blast that dumped several feet of snow
1:24PM ( 22 minutes ago )