sunny.png
Tuesday September 22nd, 2020 7:13PM

Stocks head higher on Wall Street following mixed data

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Stocks edged higher on Wall Street Thursday after a choppy start as investors weigh a mixed batch of economic reports highlighting the damage that the coronavirus lockdowns have inflicted on the economy.

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in afternoon trading after swinging between a gain of 0.4% and a loss of 0.9%. Financial stocks led the way higher after the Federal Reserve and four other regulatory agencies announced they're going to change a rule that has limited banks' ability to make investments in such areas as hedge funds.

The announcement gave an immediate boost to bank stocks because the rule change could free up billions of dollars in capital in the banking industry. Gains in technology and health care stocks also helped lift the market, outweighing losses in utilities, companies that rely on consumer spending and elsewhere. Bond yields fell, a sign of caution in the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 51 points, or 0.2%, to 25,503. The Nasdaq, which hit an all-time high earlier this week, was up 0.3%. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks was flat. Despite shedding its gains for June, the S&P 500 still is on pace for its best quarter since the fourth quarter of 1998.

Until this week, markets had been mostly rallying on hopes that U.S. states and regions around the world could continue to lift the spring lockdowns put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Recent economic data have been positive, helping fuel the cautious optimism. But a rise in new infections is stoking worries that the reopening of businesses may have to be curtailed again, delaying the economy’s recovery.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that the U.S. economy shrank at a 5% rate in the first three months of the year. A far worse decline is expected for the current quarter due to the pandemic. The Labor Department said another 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week. That marks the 12th straight drop, a sign that layoffs are slowing, but remain at a painfully high level.

Macy’s slid 4.9% after the department store operator announced it is laying off 3,900 corporate staffers, or roughly 3% of its overall workforce, as the pandemic takes a financial toll on the retailer’s sales and profits. Like many of its non-essential peers, Macy’s was forced to close its physical stores to curb the spread of the coronavirus, evaporating sales.

On a more encouraging note, the government said orders to American factories for big-ticket goods rebounded last month from a steep pullback in April and March as the economy began to slowly reopen.

The mixed data come amid growing alarm over a surge in cases of COVID-19. Hospitalizations and caseloads have hit new highs in over a half-dozen U.S. states, including California, Florida and Texas. New cases nationwide are back near their peak level of two months ago.

JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citigroup were each up more than 2% as investors welcomed news Thursday that the Fed and bank regulators have finalized a rule that will ease restrictions imposed by the Volcker Rule, which was part of the overhaul of banking regulation approved in the Dodd-Frank Act passed by Congress in 2010 in an effort to curtail excesses that had led to the 2008 financial crisis.

However, President Donald Trump had campaigned in 2016 on rolling back what he saw as excessive over-regulation of the banks that had weighed on the economy by preventing the banks from making loans to qualified borrowers.

Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 0.67% from 0.68% late Wednesday. The yield tends to move with investors’ expectations for the economy and inflation.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 2% to $38.74 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, was up 1.8% to $41.26 a barrel.

After broad losses in Asia overnight, markets were higher in Europe. Germany’s DAX rose 0.7%, while the CAC 40 in Paris picked up 1%. London’s FTSE gained 0.4%.

___

Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Financial Services
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Stocks head higher on Wall Street following mixed data
Stock indexes are edging higher on Wall Street Thursday as investors weigh a mixed batch of economic reports highlighting the damage that the coronavirus lockdowns have inflicted on the economy
1:15PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Lufthansa shareholders approve German rescue package
Germany’s Lufthansa has won shareholders’ support at an extraordinary general meeting for a 9 billion-euro ($10.2 billion) rescue package
1:09PM ( 10 minutes ago )
US GDP fell at 5.0% rate in Q1; worse is likely on the way
The U.S. economy shrank at a 5.0% rate in the first quarter with a much worse decline expected in the current three-month economic period because of the coronavirus pandemic
1:04PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
AP Interview: Manfred: `We owe it to our fans to be better'
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred knows many fans were angered by the financial fight between Major League Baseball and the players’ association during a pandemic
12:43PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Audit: US sent $1.4B in virus relief payments to dead people
A government watchdog says nearly 1.1 million relief payments totaling some $1.4 billion went to dead people in the government’s coronavirus aid program
12:36PM ( 43 minutes ago )
Pakistan to ground 150 pilots for cheating to get licenses
Pakistan’s state-run airline says it will ground 150 pilots, accusing them of obtaining licenses by having others take exams for them after a probe into last month’s crash that killed 97 people in Karachi
12:34PM ( 46 minutes ago )
AP Business
Stocks edge higher on Wall Street following mixed data
Stocks are edging higher on Wall Street in early trading Thursday as investors weigh a mixed batch of economic reports highlighting the damage that the coronavirus lockdowns have inflicted on the economy
10:30AM ( 2 hours ago )
Wall Street-owned loans tricky for hoteliers in virus era
Since the coronavirus crisis started, hotel owners say they are struggling to get relief on a type of loan that Wall Street investors buy
10:20AM ( 3 hours ago )
Orders for US big-ticket factory goods surge 15.8% in May
Orders to American factories for big-ticket goods rebounded last month from a disastrous April and March as the U.S. economy began to slowly reopen
9:46AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
The Latest: France to test some 1.3 million near Paris
France is stepping up efforts to root out hidden clusters of coronavirus infections by offering tests to nearly 1.3 million people in the Paris region
5:03AM ( 8 hours ago )
World stocks skid as new coronavirus cases rattle markets
Shares are lower in Europe and Asia as investors focus on surging new coronavirus cases in the U.S. that hit their highest level in two months
4:02AM ( 9 hours ago )
The Latest: Africa's cases surge to more than 336,000
JOHANNESBURG _ Africa’s coronavirus cases have surged past 336,000, an increase of nearly 10,000 infections from Wednesday evening
3:31AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
Germany slaughterhouse outbreak brings police, mass testing
German police have deployed hundreds of officers across two western regions that have been placed under renewed pandemic lockdown in an attempt to contain a coronavirus outbreak linked to a slaughterhouse
10:38AM ( 2 hours ago )
'Coming back and biting us': US sees virus resurgence
A coronavirus resurgence is wiping out two months of progress in the U.S. and sending infections to dire new levels in the South and West
10:01PM ( 15 hours ago )
Trump: Poland to get some US troops withdrawn from Germany
President Donald Trump says some of the 10,000 American troops he’s pulling out of Germany will be moved to Poland on NATO’s eastern flank against Russian aggression
6:07PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Housing spark and clothes shopping is back, at least online
Airlines, hotels, retail shops and restaurants have begun to reopen in parts of the country hardest hit by the pandemic, and there are signs of life in the housing market again
12:42PM ( 2 days ago )
Ex-CEO of Wirecard arrested in case over missing billions
German prosecutors say the former CEO of payment service provider Wirecard has been arrested, accused of inflating the company’s balance sheet in an accounting scandal that centers on a missing sum of 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion)
7:25AM ( 2 days ago )
Top challenger in Belarusian presidential race detained
Belarusian authorities have detained the former head of a Russia-owned commercial bank who has challenged Belarus’ authoritarian leader in the August election
3:34PM ( 6 days ago )
AP Business - Financial Services
Lufthansa shareholders approve German rescue package
Germany’s Lufthansa has won shareholders’ support at an extraordinary general meeting for a 9 billion-euro ($10.2 billion) rescue package
1:09PM ( 10 minutes ago )
US GDP fell at 5.0% rate in Q1; worse is likely on the way
The U.S. economy shrank at a 5.0% rate in the first quarter with a much worse decline expected in the current three-month economic period because of the coronavirus pandemic
1:04PM ( 16 minutes ago )
House Democrats push toward policing vote, challenge Senate
With a policing overhaul stalled in the Senate, House Democrats have returned to Washington for a daylong debate and vote on their package of law enforcement changes
12:59PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Pompeo says US, EU working to resume trans-Atlantic travel
The U.S. secretary of state is playing down concerns that the European Union might refuse to allow in Americans as the EU considers lifting border restrictions to overseas travelers next week
12:59PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Virus testing, tracking still plagued by reporting delays
Having access to quick coronavirus test results will play an important role in resuming sporting events, keeping factories and businesses open, and returning to school in the fall
12:58PM ( 22 minutes ago )