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Nasdaq, S&P 500 gain on tech stocks, hopes for more stimulus

Economic IndicatorsFeb 11, 2021 06:50PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: New York Stock Exchange opens during COVID-19

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Nasdaq and S&P 500 eked out modest gains on Thursday with investors betting on more fiscal stimulus, but U.S. President Joe Biden said China was poised to "eat our lunch," a warning that tempered enthusiasm for a market near record highs.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) Corp rose 3.2% and Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) 3.1%, making technology the leading sector to gain on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. Declining shares outnumbered gainers on the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange.

Biden told a group of U.S. senators in a meeting to discuss the need to upgrade U.S. infrastructure that the United States must raise its game in the face of the challenge from China.

The warning about China and Democrat plans to include raising the minimum wage to $15 in a $1.9 trillion stimulus package showed headwinds for investors could be on the rise, said Ed Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.

"Markets are starting to get a little bit nervous over the relations between the West and China," Moya said.

Biden's first call late Wednesday with China's President Xi Jinping "resurfaced all of the difficulties that we're going to face this year in addition to the pandemic," he said.

The Democrats also are not in agreement on where they stand on the minimum wage, he said. "This is dragging out stimulus talks."

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) rose 2.6% after the credit-card company said it was planning to offer support for some cryptocurrencies on its network this year, joining a string of big-ticket firms that have pledged similar support.

Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK) advanced 0.9% after saying it had formed a new unit to help clients hold, transfer and issue digital assets, sending Bitcoin to an all-time high of $48,696.

The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits were 793,000 last week, compared to 812,000 in the prior week, but they are well below the record 6.867 million reported last March when the pandemic hit the United States.

Wall Street's main indexes have hit record highs recently on prospects of the $1.9 trillion relief bill that aims to jump start the U.S. economy, while a largely better-than-expected earnings season also has bolstered sentiment.

Analysts now expect fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 firms to grow 3%, versus a 10.3% decline forecast at the beginning of January, per Refinitiv data. Stocks are trading with high multiples, raising fears the market is overvalued.

"The market is certainly fairly valued. I don't see the overall market as horribly overvalued," said David Trainer, chief executive of New Constructs, a research firm in Nashville, Tennessee "There are pockets of stocks, we call them micro bubbles, that are extremely overvalued."

The tech sector and semiconductors hit record highs, while economy-linked energy and industrials took a back seat after being in the spotlight this year.

The S&P 500 gained 6.5 points, or 0.17%, to 3,916.38 and the Nasdaq Composite added 53.24 points, or 0.38%, to 14,025.77. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7.1 points, or 0.02%, to 31,430.7.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 17.69 billion shares, compared with the 15.96 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

​ U.S.-listed shares of cannabis companies, including Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) and Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA), reversed premarket gains to drop 49.7% and 35.8% after the sector caught the attention of Reddit-inspired retail investors this week.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) Co rose 0.7% ahead of its results after market close.

Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) Inc rallied 7.3% after a report said Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) approached the image-sharing company in recent months about a potential buyout. However, the negotiations were currently not active, the report said.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.08-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.22-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 45 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 292 new highs and nine new lows.

(Corrects to say technology was the leading sector to gain in paragraph 2, deletes it was the only sector to gain)

Nasdaq, S&P 500 gain on tech stocks, hopes for more stimulus
 

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Comments (15)
George Pichurov
George Pichurov Feb 13, 2021 12:16AM ET
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US surely hitting the way of Zimbabwe. But that's good for stonks.
Michael Angelo
Michael Angelo Feb 11, 2021 7:29PM ET
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Us has been spending too much, money and time, trying to correct mistakes to pave the way of elites and riches. Now is too late to correct because what's done is impossibile to get it back. Also the virus is still with us (and will for years). How the govt think will fix it, with Yellen, Biden and the midnight club spending , printing money and working hard for saving the planet. Better start thinking out of the box or US will go the way, slowly , of all empires.
Casador Del Oso
Casador Del Oso Feb 11, 2021 6:58PM ET
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This story makes it sound like 793,000 new unemployment claims is nothing to worry about. Time to get out the shovel and hip boots. this stuff is getting deep.
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Feb 11, 2021 4:05PM ET
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China wasnt worried a out Bush or Obama. Why would they be concerned about a frail old man wearing a mask 24/7 and sleeps 14 hrs?
David David
David9 Feb 11, 2021 3:42PM ET
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We will.not.be able to catch up, because for decades we spent the money in the wrong place. Trillions and trillions went into defense spending, but very little into infrastructure, so it is very very hard to change course now. We would need trillions and trillions more to have the infrastructure that China has..but at this time, we are already in the $30T debt...
Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye Feb 11, 2021 3:42PM ET
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Spending $$ on defense is fine: those are jobs for American workers - we don't import submarines from Mexico.  Besides, the Chinese have to spend their $$ on defense to match us, so even-steven.  And I'd much rather spend taxes on building bombers than on trying to rectify "environmental injustices."
Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye Feb 11, 2021 3:25PM ET
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"...the United States must raise its game in the face of the challenge from China."  And the best way to do that, the Democrats decided, is to break up Microsoft, Apple and the other leading tech companies, and then raise taxes on everyone else. If you listen very, very, very carefully, you can hear Chairman Xi laughing.
Pwr Strk
Pwr Strk Feb 11, 2021 1:22PM ET
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they must have their monitors upside down
Aldrin Ultravelemilano Vele
Aldrin Ultravelemilano Vele Feb 11, 2021 1:20PM ET
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Nas is a very powerful. stay on the lookout!!
Matt Kay
Matt Kay Feb 11, 2021 12:56PM ET
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Donkey brained article writers.
Eduardo Salido
Eduardo Salido Feb 11, 2021 12:35PM ET
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What records high? Weren't they higher yesterday?
Shane Gg
Shane Gg Feb 11, 2021 12:35PM ET
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My computer shows red. Nice headline.
Sérgio Colaço
Sérgio Colaço Feb 11, 2021 12:31PM ET
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I think theu should look at the markets now xD From markets to things like gold and silver, its going down hard atm
Mix Docu
Mix Docu Feb 11, 2021 10:25AM ET
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BC kitni hope.....
leon kelly
leon kelly Feb 11, 2021 9:39AM ET
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"on stimulus hope" I almost spit my coffee out laughing
Lisbeth Salander
Lisbeth Salander Feb 11, 2021 9:39AM ET
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I know, right? How many times are they going to keep repeating that? Lol
bittoo Singh
bittoo Singh Feb 11, 2021 9:39AM ET
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well, Till then today only I think because they are going to announce it.
Casador Del Oso
Casador Del Oso Feb 11, 2021 9:22AM ET
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More layoffs is good news for stocks.
Gurdev Singh
Gurdev Singh Feb 11, 2021 9:22AM ET
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More layoffs = more Stimulas right? Markets shouid run up to new record highs time and time again. Keep on piling into Markets drive it up up and away! The faster the better
 
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