Stocks surge as reopening America gathers steam

U.S. equity markets rallied sharply Wednesday morning as investor optimism grew over plans to reopen America. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 348 points, or 1.39 percent, in the opening minutes of trading while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.95 percent and 0.12 percent, respectively. The benchmark S&P 500 ended Tuesday’s session 12 percent below its all-time high set in February while the Nasdaq finished within 5 percent of its peak. At least two states eased lockdown restrictions, with Colorado allowing limited in-person dining at restaurants and Minnesota letting places of worship open to 25 percent capacity. Additionally, Kansas and Nevada on Tuesday evening announced further relaxing of their restrictions. The social and economic momentum boosted airlines, cruise operators and other travel-related names for a second straight day. Meanwhile, social-media companies were in focus after Twitter added a “fact check” of President Trump’s tweets for the first time on Tuesday evening. The president responded by saying, on Twitter, that the company is “stifling free speech” and that he “won’t allow it to happen.” Dow component Boeing will lay off 2,500 workers this week, as the jet maker works toward its previously announced goal of reducing its labor force by 10 percent. On the earnings front, Ralph Lauren lost $249 million in its fiscal fourth-quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic and Hong Kong protests had an adverse impact on business. While the apparel-maker’s loss was bigger than Wall Street analysts expected, sales of $1.27 billion outpaced estimates. Domino’s Pizza reported U.S. same-store sales surged 14 percent in the months of April and May. International sales edged up 1 percent over the same period. Rival pizza chain Papa John’s reported North American same-store sales soared a record 33.5 percent in May. Global revenue climbed 7 percent. Elsewhere, electric-vehicle maker Tesla announced price reductions for vehicles in North America and China as demand waned in the wake of COVID-19. The size of the price reductions are not yet known. Chinese rival Nio was upgraded to neutral and its price target raised to $3.50 from $2 at J.P. Morgan, ahead of the company’s quarterly earnings report, which is expected on Thursday. West Texas Intermediate crude oil slid 1.25 percent to $33.92 per barrel and gold sank 1.39 percent to $1,704 an ounce. U.S. Treasurys fell, pushing the yield on the 10-year note up 2 basis points to 0.718 percent. In Europe, France’s CAC gained 2.09 percent, Germany’s DAX climbed 1.68 percent and Britain’s FTSE rallied 1.45 percent. Asian markets ended mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei up 0.7 percent while China’s Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.34 percent and 0.36 percent, respectively.

This is the second day in a row of great news on Wall Street!  Let’s hope the Great American Comeback is underway!!      🙂

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