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Dow Rallies as Bulls Find Value in Energy, Industrials; Virus Spread Slows

imageStock Markets3 hours ago (Aug 10, 2020 04:02PM ET)

(C) Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim – The Dow rallied on Monday as signs that the spread of the Covid-19 is nearing a peak and a jump in energy offset rising U.S.-China tensions and worries over a lack of progress on the next fiscal stimulus package.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.3%, or 259 points. The S&P 500 gained 0.29%, and is just 1% below all time highs, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped fell 0.39%.

Energy led the broader market higher on rising oil prices following better-than-expected Chinese economic data and positive comments on the outlook for energy demand from Saudi Aramco (SE:2222).

Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser said on Sunday that global oil demand would continue its recovery as lockdown measures ease. China’s gasoline and diesel demand are “almost at pre-COVID 19 levels,” Nasser added. “As countries ease the lockdown, we expect the demand to increase.”

Industrials were also in favor, led by airlines as data showing air travel over the weekend rose to the highest volume in nearly five months.

American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) rose more than 7%.

On the stimulus front, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin attempted to ease worries, insisting that he expects lawmakers to agree on a deal by the end of the week despite reports that talks have reached an impasse.

President Donald Trump’s efforts to plug the financial stimulus gap by issuing executive orders to extend unemployment benefits – at a reduced amount of $400, down from $600 a week – did little to ease worries. Economists have warned that the U.S. economy could face darker days ahead without the much-needed stimulus.

“The U.S. economy is on a path that is about to fork. One way sees a faster recovery with new federal support. The other leads to a double-dip recession and a lagged recovery as households struggle, ” Grant Thornton Chief Economist Diane Swonk said.

But signs that the spread of the coronavirus appears to be abating helped to lift investor sentiment on risk.

There were fewer than 47,000 new infections reported Sunday in the U.S., the lowest in about a week, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Tech, meanwhile, pared most of its losses, though remained pressured as rising U.S-China tensions have sparked uncertainty in the sector.

Beijing said it would sanction 11 U.S. senators in retaliation for similar measures carried out by the Trump administration against Chinese and Hong Kong officials last week.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), however, helped cushion the downside in tech, rising more than 1.6% after Wedbush lifted its price target on the stock to $515 from $475, citing expectations that the upcoming launch of the iPhone 12 will spark a jump in upgrades. (NASDAQ:AMZN), down nearly 0.6%, was also in the spotlight on reports that the e-commerce giant was in talks with U.S. shopping mall owner Simon Property (NYSE:SPG) to covert JCPenney and Sears department stores into fulfillment centers.

Among consumer discretionary companies, Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) reported an 18% rise in same-store sales and earnings in the fiscal second quarter that beat Wall Street estimate, sending its shares more 8% higher. Foot Locker is slated to report full-quarterly earnings on Aug. 21.

In other news, Eastman Kodak (NYSE:KODK) slumped 28% as its $765 million loan from the federal government was placed on hold amid allegations of insider trading.

Dow Rallies as Bulls Find Value in Energy, Industrials; Virus Spread Slows

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