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S&P 500, Nasdaq eke out new closing highs

Stock Markets Feb 11, 2020 04:31PM ET
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By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) - S&P 500 and the Nasdaq inched to their second consecutive record closing highs on Tuesday as Chinese officials said the deadly coronavirus epidemic could be contained by April.

But the Dow closed flat, and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq pared their gains after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued orders to large tech companies to provide information on mergers that were too small to report to antitrust regulators..

Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) was the biggest drag on all three major U.S. stock indexes following FTC's demand for data from company. Data was also requested from Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).

The World Health Organization, or WHO, called the Chinese coronavirus "public enemy number one." But China's foremost medical adviser on the outbreak said the crisis could be over by April, soothing jitters over the fast-moving epidemic, even as supply chains ruptured and Chinese firms began laying off workers.

"As much as there's a desire to push stock higher there's also an exhaustion," Oliver Pursche, vice chairman and chief market strategist at Bruderman Asset Management in New York. "It's letting the air out and exhaling."

"The best thing that could happen for stocks this year is that we go sideways for a while and let markets catch their breath."

Market participants watched closely as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell began his semiannual economic update before congress.

Powell's remarks reiterated his view that the economy, in its 11th year of expansion, remains "resilient," but that the central bank was closely monitoring potential risks, including the coronavirus.

"Powell addressed the coronavirus and acknowledged that it might be a catalyst for the Fed to take action if warranted," Pursche added. "It means the Fed is keenly aware of the risks but it also means that the risks are very real."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat, the S&P 500 gained 5.66 points, or 0.17%, to 3,357.75 and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.55 points, or 0.11%, to 9,638.94.

Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, all but communications services, consumer staples and technology closed in positive territory, with real estate showing the largest percentage gain.

T-Mobile shares jumped 11.8% after a federal judge approved its purchase of Sprint, clearing the path for a deal originally valued at $26 billion.

Sprint surged 77.5%, while larger rival Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) slid 2.6%.

Cell tower operators, including SBA Communications Corp (NASDAQ:SBAC), American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT) and Crown Castle International (NYSE:CCI) Corp, gained between 4% and 7% on expectations that the deal could increase tower demand.

Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UAA) tumbled 16.7% after the sportswear company forecast a surprise drop in 2020 profit.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.31-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.75-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 80 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 152 new highs and 60 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 7.33 billion shares, compared with the 7.67 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

S&P 500, Nasdaq eke out new closing highs
 

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Comments (21)
Stephane ADAM
Stephane ADAM Feb 11, 2020 4:29PM ET
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I think the markets are underestimating the impacts of the coronavirus.The number of reported cases has gone down today but that because the chinese have been home for 2 weeks, they've gone back to work so it's going to go up again. Remerber, there is no vaccine.The mortality rate is not 2%. We must compare the number of deaths to the number of contamined one month ago and no to the number of contamined today because of the incubation phase.In reallity it is at least 4% and it is highly contagious.So it's not over, It's beginning.
Fred Smith
Fred Smith Feb 11, 2020 4:08PM ET
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Recycling old news from China
Matthew VS
Matthew VS Feb 11, 2020 4:02PM ET
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Investing.com hasn't made a single peep about what just transpired over the past couple of hours. Old news now I suppose. Why bother.
Matthew VS
Matthew VS Feb 11, 2020 3:27PM ET
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Nope! Thanks Jerome Powell for ruining our day. Record highs to blood bath in minutes.
Delonte Crosby
Delonte Crosby Feb 11, 2020 3:19PM ET
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What the heck just happened?
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Delonte Crosby
Delonte Crosby Feb 11, 2020 3:19PM ET
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Then again we end up having government shutdowns. That would be billions of dollars gone if that happens again.
Matthew VS
Matthew VS Feb 11, 2020 3:19PM ET
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Delonte Crosby  The fed can no longer lower interest rates to help the economy and now the fed is talking about raising rates to pay off the federal budget deficit.
Delonte Crosby
Delonte Crosby Feb 11, 2020 3:19PM ET
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Matthew VS   It is going to be a long 2020.
Matthew VS
Matthew VS Feb 11, 2020 3:19PM ET
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Delonte Crosby   It looks like extreme short term memory is having some affect as the market is coming back a bit just before the bell.
Delonte Crosby
Delonte Crosby Feb 11, 2020 3:19PM ET
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John Mars
John Mars Feb 11, 2020 11:00AM ET
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Makes no sense to link this to optimism over the virus, it is going up over something else.
Kim McVicar
Kim McVicar Feb 11, 2020 11:00AM ET
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phase 2 corona virus deal optimism
Luu Hung
Luu Hung Feb 11, 2020 10:40AM ET
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Omg. I'm dead laughing
Edward Chong
Edward Chong Feb 11, 2020 10:40AM ET
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mkt going higher is funny ???
Andrew carson
Andrew carson Feb 11, 2020 10:39AM ET
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I read an article today that said the coronavirus was infecting people through the plumbing in their apartment complex..
oili pasta
oliveoil Feb 11, 2020 10:28AM ET
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lol coronavirus optimism
Jins Ho
Jins Ho Feb 11, 2020 10:26AM ET
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money trumps any viruses
 
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