cloudyn.png
Friday August 14th, 2020 3:55AM

Tech giants lead gains as S&P 500 closes 4th winning month

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Big Tech continues to steamroll through the pandemic, and strong gains for some of the market’s most influential companies on Friday helped Wall Street close out its fourth straight winning month.

The S&P 500 rose 24.90 points, or 0.8%, to 3,271.12 following blowout profit reports from Apple and several other tech titans. The gains didn’t come easily, though, and the stock market flipped up and down through the day amid worries about the economy and whether Congress can find agreement on more aid for it.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down as many as 300 points before finishing the day up 114.67, or 0.4%, at 26,428.32. The Nasdaq composite jumped 157.64, or 1.5%, to 10,745.27 on the strength for tech stocks, which also accelerated in the last hour of trading.

Despite the gains, caution was clearly present across markets as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cloud the economy’s prospects. The 10-year Treasury yield touched its lowest level since it dropped to a record low in March. Gold also continued its record-setting run as investors searched for safety, while the majority of stocks in the S&P 500 sank.

Among the laggards were companies that most need the economy to get back to “normal” and the pandemic to subside, including many in the travel industry.

Expedia Group slumped 4.6% after it reported weaker results for the latest quarter than Wall Street expected. The company's CEO, Peter Kern, called it “likely the worst quarter the travel industry has seen in modern history.”

Energy companies were also weak as the pandemic sucked away demand for oil. Chevron dropped 2.7% after it reported a worse loss for its latest quarter than Wall Street expected.

The economy cratered to its worst quarterly performance on record during the spring, and worries are high that continuing waves of coronavirus infections may halt what had been a budding recovery. An extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits from the U.S. government is expiring with July's end, and Congress continues to argue about how to provide more support for the economy.

Whether Washington can agree on more aid for out-of-work Americans — and quickly — is the biggest risk for the market in the near term, said Yung-Yu Ma, chief investment strategist at BMO Wealth Management.

“If it doesn’t happen in short order, there’s going to be a lot of disappointment and unease,” he said. “I think lawmakers are perhaps underestimating how quickly things could spiral downward without an extension in place. It would take only a few weeks before millions of people are cash strapped.”

The S&P 500 made its final leg back into positive territory for the day as top Democrats announced a meeting with White House representatives for Saturday morning to continue talks.

Also helping to prop up the S&P 500 was the power of big tech-oriented stocks. Amazon, Apple and Facebook each reported stronger profit for the latest quarter than Wall Street expected late Thursday, and each rose at least 3.7% in their first trading following the reports. They're three of the biggest companies in the world, making up nearly 13% of the S&P 500 themselves, so their movements hold great sway over indexes.

Apple was particularly influential, rocketing up 10.5% following what Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives called a “Picasso-like performance” for its latest quarter.

Google’s parent company, another behemoth in the market, also reported stronger profit than analysts had forecast, but its stock stumbled.

Not only are Big Tech companies growing faster than the rest of the market, some investors have even begun seeing them as safer bets than other stocks because the pandemic is pushing more people online and directly into their wheelhouses. It’s a far cry from 20 years ago when tech stocks were seen as the riskiest investments.

The strength for tech is one of the reasons the S&P 500 rose 5.5% in July, its best month since April. Continued, massive amounts of aid from the Federal Reserve has been another linchpin. The index has climbed back within 3.4% of its record set in February after earlier being down nearly 34%.

The gains came even though companies have broadly been reporting sharp declines in their profits, as investors hope that a vaccine can be developed in the next year to corral the pandemic and get the economy closer to normal.

"The market knows earnings are going to be terrible now, with a few select exceptions, for the majority of companies," Ma said. "What’s really holding up the equity markets is this idea that ‘Yes, it’s a terrible situation now, but the outlook for 2021 and beyond is markedly better.’"

Other markets have not shown as much exuberance, though. The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked down to 0.53% from 0.54% late Thursday. It touched its lowest level since March 9, the day it dropped to its record intraday low just below 0.34%. The yield tends to move with investors’ expectations for the economy and inflation.

Gold for delivery in December, the most actively traded contract, rose $19.10 to settle at $1,985.91 per ounce after earlier climbing as high as $2,005.40.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 35 cents to settle at $40.27 a barrel Friday. Brent crude rose 37 cents to $43.31 a barrel.

European and Asian markets closed broadly lower.

___

AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama contributed.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Road trip? Quarantines mess with Americans' travel plans
Families trying to get in a last-minute vacation before school starts better do some homework on COVID-19 restrictions before loading up the minivan
4:52PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Tech giants lead gains as S&P 500 closes 4th winning month
Big Tech continues to steamroll through the pandemic, and strong gains for some of the market’s most influential companies on Friday helped Wall Street close out its fourth straight winning month
4:50PM ( 3 minutes ago )
3 charged in massive Twitter hack, Bitcoin scam
Authorities say a British man, a Florida man and a Florida teen hacked the Twitter accounts of prominent politicians, celebrities and technology moguls to scam people around the globe out of more than $100,000 in Bitcoin
4:35PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Students return to campus amid virus growth in some states
The first wave of college students returning to their dorms aren’t finding the typical mobs of students and parents
3:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
Georgia camp with COVID-19 outbreak didn’t require masks
A Georgia overnight camp hit by a coronavirus outbreak took many precautions, but didn’t make campers wear masks or have proper ventilation in buildings, The report released Friday says the camp followed disinfecting rules and required staff to wear masks, but not campers
3:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
Conservatives take up death of Black man who supported Trump
The shooting death in broad daylight of a Black man affectionately known in his Milwaukee neighborhood as “The Ras” so far has mystified police and spurred prominent conservatives in Wisconsin to speculate he was killed because of his support for President Donald Trump
3:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Summer road trip? Quarantines are crimping some US travelers
Families trying to get in a last-minute vacation before school starts better do some homework on COVID-19 restrictions before loading up the minivan
2:12PM ( 2 hours ago )
Wall Street slips as worries overshadow Big Tech strength
Big Tech continues to steamroll through the pandemic, but much of the rest of Wall Street is struggling on Friday, leaving stock indexes mostly lower
1:48PM ( 3 hours ago )
Fauci optimistic COVID-19 vaccine will be widely available
Dr. Anthony Fauci has told lawmakers that once a coronavirus vaccine is approved as safe and effective, Americans should have widespread access within a reasonable time
1:44PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Oil giants lost billions as pandemic crushed demand for fuel
Two American oil giants lost more than $9 billion in the second quarter as the pandemic kept households on lockdown and the need for oil diminished around the world
3:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Peru wonders about 27,000 uncounted deaths
Peruvian authorities and the Pan American Health Organization are investigating whether the country failed to count more than 27,000 deaths caused by the coronavirus
3:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
House Democrats subpoena Pompeo for documents on Biden's son
The House Foreign Affairs Committee has subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for documents he turned over to a Senate panel that is investigating Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden
3:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
The Latest: Dr. Fauci: Any crowd without masks is virus risk
Dr. Anthony Fauci is fighting back against questioning from a Republican lawmaker over whether recent protests increase the spread of coronavirus
11:43AM ( 5 hours ago )
Big Tech surge props up Wall Street, though caution reigns
Big Tech continues to steamroll through the pandemic, but much of the rest of Wall Street is struggling on Friday, leaving stock indexes mixed
11:40AM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Dr. Fauci: Thousands signing up for virus trials
Dr. Anthony Fauci says 250,000 people have registered on a National Institutes of Heath website to take part in experimental vaccine trials
11:04AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Scores of Zimbabwe protesters arrested, military in streets
Scores of people have been arrested in Zimbabwe as hundreds of military troops along with police attempt to thwart an anti-government protest
11:17AM ( 5 hours ago )
US consumer spending up 5.6%, but virus could stall gains
American consumers increased their spending in June by a solid 5.6%, helping regain some of record plunge that occurred after the coronavirus struck hard in March and paralyzed the economy
10:21AM ( 6 hours ago )
Surges for US tech giants lead stocks higher on Wall Street
Facebook, Apple and Amazon surged in early trading Friday after reporting blowout results the night before, leading major indexes higher on Wall Street
9:42AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Global shares mixed, markets look to central banks, earnings
Global shares are mixed, with European indexes rising in early trading, while Asian benchmarks tumbled, as investors looked ahead to central bank meetings and corporate earnings reports
5:10AM ( 11 hours ago )
Asian shares fall as data, earnings show pandemic fallout
Shares are mostly lower in Asia as data and corporate earnings capture dismal portrayals of the coronavirus pandemic's impact on world economies
3:38AM ( 13 hours ago )
Asian benchmarks tumble, looking to earnings, central banks
Asian shares are tumbling as earnings coming in around the world showed mostly dismal results amid the coronavirus pandemic
12:16AM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
S. Korean tries washing money over virus fears, suffers loss
Money laundering is not a good idea, as a South Korean found out when he or she put banknotes in a washing machine to remove possible traces of the coronavirus
6:10AM ( 10 hours ago )
India's Bihar state fights twin threat of virus and floods
Monsoon floods have swamped large parts of India’s densely populated Bihar state and displaced more than 300,000 people, exacerbating the risk of coronavirus and stymieing its response to the pandemic
4:42AM ( 12 hours ago )
AstraZeneca: won't profit from COVID-19 vaccine in pandemic
Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has repeated its promise not to profit from a COVID-19 vaccine during the pandemic as it reported it was on track with late-stage trials for the treatment
12:54PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Industries
Trump downplays West Texas energy worries, attacks Democrats
President Donald Trump took sweeping digs at so-called “crazy left radical Democrats” on a fundraising trip to the fracking fields of West Texas
8:21PM ( 1 day ago )
US energy use hit 30-year low during pandemic shutdowns
U.S. energy consumption plummeted to its lowest level in more than 30 years this spring as the economy largely shut down due to the coronavirus
5:20PM ( 1 day ago )
Trump seeks out loyal donors in West Texas fracking fields
President Donald Trump is visiting a U.S. fracking hub on the West Texas plains
3:30PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Road trip? Quarantines mess with Americans' travel plans
Families trying to get in a last-minute vacation before school starts better do some homework on COVID-19 restrictions before loading up the minivan
4:52PM ( 2 minutes ago )
3 charged in massive Twitter hack, Bitcoin scam
Authorities say British man, a Florida man and a Florida teen hacked the Twitter accounts of prominent politicians, celebrities and technology moguls to scam people around the globe out of more than $100,000 in Bitcoin
4:29PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Plug it in: Electric car charging station numbers are rising
As automakers introduce more models powered by electricity, there may not be enough public charging stations to handle the load
4:26PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Portland, Oregon, protests relatively calm after US drawdown
The first nightly protest in Portland, Oregon, since a deal was struck for federal agents to withdraw from the city was largely peaceful after state troopers took over protecting a federal courthouse
4:25PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Fauci confident virus vaccine will get to Americans in 2021
Dr. Anthony Fauci says he is confident that a coronavirus vaccine will be ready by early next year
4:23PM ( 31 minutes ago )