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Saturday July 11th, 2020 12:45AM

Wall Street climbs to claw back some of last week's losses

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising in morning trading on Wall Street Monday, clawing back some of the ground they lost last week.

The S&P 500 was up 0.9% after wobbling between small gains and losses in the first hour of trading. It follows up on a shaky showing for markets around the world. European stocks shook off their own wobbles to push higher, while many Asian markets finished with losses. Treasury yields were holding steady.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 391 points, or 1.6%, at 25,406, as of 10:45 a.m. Eastern time, while the Nasdaq composite was up 0.5%.

Gains for Boeing and Apple in particular helped to lift Wall Street indexes. Boeing jumped 7.6% as its troubled 737 Max jet looks set to begin test flights soon, while Apple added 1.2% to set another record as customers keep buying its products regardless of whether they're quarantined.

Stocks of smaller companies also jumped more than the rest of the market, which often happens when investors are feeling more optimistic about the economy. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks was up 2.7% to recover nearly all of its loss from last week.

They’re the latest choppy moves for markets around the world, which have been swinging back and forth in recent weeks. A rise in infections of the new coronavirus, including in the U.S. South and West, has dented the optimism that earlier sent the S&P 500 screaming nearly all the way back to the record it reached in February.

The worry is that the worsening levels could choke off the budding improvements the economy has shown recently as states and other governments ease up on lockdown orders, even with the Federal Reserve and other central banks pumping unprecedented amounts of aid into the economy.

“Conflicting signals between the COVID-19 spread and economic data continue to keep risk sentiment, and consequently markets, in a gridlock going into the end of June,” said Jingyi Pan of IG.

Florida and Texas put new restrictions on bars to slow the spread of the virus, for example, which helped drive the S&P 500 to a loss of 2.9% last week. Other government around the world are likewise backtracking on efforts to reopen their economies following widespread lockdowns that have sent the global economy into a sudden, severe recession.

The latest example of how extremely the economy is swinging due to pandemic-related restrictions came mid-morning Monday after a report on the U.S. housing market came in much stronger than expected. The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rose by a record 44.3% in May, one month after the pandemic caused a record-breaking plunge.

U.S. stocks turned decisively higher following the report after earlier flipping between gains and losses.

Given all the uncertainty, many professional investors say the only sure thing for markets is that upcoming movements will likely be volatile. The second quarter of the year is set to close out Tuesday, and the S&P 500 is on pace for a gain of more than 17%, which would be its best since late 1998. Of course, that follows the U.S. stock market’s loss of nearly 20% in the first quarter, which was its worst since the bottom of the 2008 financial crisis.

In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 2.3%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 1%. The Kospi in Seoul fell 1.9%.

In Europe, the French CAC 40 was up 1% after recovering from an earlier dip. Germany's DAX returned 1.3%, and the FTSE 100 in London was up 1.2%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 0.63%. It tends to move with investors’ expectations for the economy and inflation.

___

AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach contributed.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets
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