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Wall Street closes higher as new stimulus talks ease shutdown worries

CoronavirusNov 19, 2020 05:55PM ET
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© Reuters. The New York Stock Exchange is pictured

By Stephen Culp

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended in positive territory on Thursday as fresh stimulus hopes buoyed investor sentiment toward the end of a session fraught with worries over mounting shutdowns and layoffs linked to spiraling COVID-19 infection rates.

All three major stock indexes got a healthy boost after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had agreed to revive talks to craft a new fiscal relief package.

"We've seen this playbook before, where investors flock to the safety of tech and growth when the economy shows signs of slowing down," said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial (NASDAQ:LPLA) in Charlotte, North Carolina. "But everything changes now that there's hope of the next stimulus plan."

"Clearly markets are bouncing on that optimism."

Even so, spiraling COVID-19 infection rates turned investors toward market-leading growth stocks that have shown resiliency to the pandemic.

The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index (SOX), which thrived throughout the health crisis, handily outperformed the broader market, rising 1.6%.

"In a COVID world, semis are a safer play as they're not impacted as much due to shutdowns," Detrick added.

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, the data painting a grim picture of increasingly elevated layoffs as spiking coronavirus cases and subsequent shutdowns continue to hobble the labor market.

Record infection numbers have caused COVID hospitalizations to soar by 50% and have prompted schools and businesses to close once again, thwarting the recovery of the world's largest economy from the deepest recession since the Great Depression.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 44.81 points, or 0.15%, to 29,483.23, the S&P 500 (SPX) gained 14.08 points, or 0.39%, to 3,581.87 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) added 103.11 points, or 0.87%, to 11,904.71.

Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, energy (SPNY) and tech shares (SPLRCT) gained the most, while utilities (SPLRCU) and healthcare (SPXHC) were the only percentage losers.

Third-quarter reporting season is nearing the finish line, with 472 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 84.5% have beaten consensus, according to Refinitiv data.

Macy's Inc (N:M) reported a 20% plunge in quarterly same-store sales and the department store forecast a tough holiday season.

Chipmaker Nvidia Corp (O:NVDA) forecast a slight dip in data center chip sales but the company beat quarterly revenue expectations.

L Brands Inc (N:LB) surged 17.7% after posting better-than-expected quarterly results and a 56% jump in same-store sales.

Tesla Inc (O:TSLA) shares rose for the third straight session to touch a record high, riding the wave of its pending inclusion in the S&P 500, announced on Monday.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.77-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.80-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted seven new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 87 new highs and 10 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 10.94 billion shares, compared with the 10.55 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

Wall Street closes higher as new stimulus talks ease shutdown worries
 

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Comments (9)
Thom Miller
Thom Miller Nov 19, 2020 12:59PM ET
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Included in this week’s 742,000 jobless claims, was one Donald J. Trump, who was fired by Joe Biden and nearly 80 million other patriotic Americans. Donald was last seen standing in line at a soup kitchen in south Florida and was heard mumbling incoherently about having something stolen from him. The men with white coats soon hauled him away....
Viv Maht
Viv Maht Nov 19, 2020 12:35PM ET
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Then China will continue to ********the world with stuff more deadly than Covid! Better hope that they don't get to #1..
Keval Gala
Keval Gala Nov 19, 2020 12:20PM ET
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I would better say CHINA will become the next world powerful country and USA will come down.. dollar will be trading lower then RMB.. mark my words..
Jeff Kim
Jeff Kim Nov 19, 2020 12:13PM ET
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This is just a gambling market. Up and Down without logic and reasons are just made up
Keval Gala
Keval Gala Nov 19, 2020 12:13PM ET
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yes absolutely ture.. it's a gambling.. political stunts.. nothing else.. situation in USA is really worst..
Thom Miller
Thom Miller Nov 19, 2020 12:11PM ET
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There is no President. Absolutely not one, except President Biden. The current one is too busy whining....time for Mikey and Mitch to change Donny’s soiled diapers. Perhaps then Donny will leave the premises two months early!
Ken Rupert
Ken Rupert Nov 19, 2020 12:11PM ET
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You’re right about one thing... there is no President. There is a political machine that seeks to control the masses and it is a shame that that machine is willing to destroy this country just to usher in globalism snd all the evils that come with it.
Whaling Trawler
Whaling Trawler Nov 19, 2020 12:06PM ET
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There is no virus. Absolutely not one.
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Nov 19, 2020 12:06PM ET
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Just Fishin' lol
Dario Ruff
Dario Ruff Nov 19, 2020 12:06PM ET
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Dude lay off the drugs
Keval Gala
Keval Gala Nov 19, 2020 12:03PM ET
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USA should go for a lockdown for 2 weeks minimum as soon as possible.. situation is worst.. vaccine will still take time of 3 to 4 months post which normal people will get the vaccine it will end of 2021.. be cautious !!
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Nov 19, 2020 12:02PM ET
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This isn't much of a dead cat. Tomorrow could get ugly.
Victor Asturias
Victor Asturias Nov 19, 2020 11:18AM ET
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There weren’t any covid cases or unemployment last week, well yes it was as bad as it is now but.. well never mind. Happy trading! :)
Edward Chong
Edward Chong Nov 19, 2020 11:18AM ET
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dont worry. it will be up again soon. its juz a rotational play between up and down. haha
 
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