Stocks climbed as gains in giant technology companies drove the Nasdaq 100 to a record, tempering concern that a recovery from the pandemic-induced recession will need more time. Treasuries rose.
The rally in heavyweights such as Apple Inc. and Tesla Inc. offset a slide for energy producers and banks amid light trading volume.
Intel Corp. — the world’s largest chipmaker — jumped on news it’s entering into accelerated agreements to buy back $10 billion of shares.
Zoom Video Communications Inc. surged after Morgan Stanley boosted its price target for the video-conferencing company. Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. climbed after being spared from having to rapidly convert their California drivers to employees.
Wall Street’s obsession with the fortress-like profit potential of internet and software companies seems to remain intact.
Thanks to solid balance sheets and a suite of products that benefit from social distancing, tech has extended this year’s surge — the biggest among major S&P 500 groups.
The industry has sustained momentum for the stock market, despite concern over lofty valuations and economic growth.
“The love for technology stocks grew as the favorite pandemic plays,” wrote Ed Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. “No one wants to short this market, so we are seeing investors just rotate back into technology stocks today.”
Earlier Thursday, equities slumped as applications for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased, with initial jobless claims climbing to more than 1.1 million.
The report reinforces forecasts that improvement in the labor market will occur in fits and starts, with the latest uptick likely representing a pause in that recovery — rather than a substantial change in direction.
On the trade front, China confirmed plans to talk with U.S. officials soon to review progress on their preliminary deal — a rare engagement between the world’s largest economies as relations deteriorate.
Speaking in Arizona earlier this week, President Donald Trump said he canceled those plans because he’s unhappy with the Asian nation’s role in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Here are some key events coming up:
- Euro-area PMIs will be released on Friday.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 rose 0.3% as of 4 p.m. New York time.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased 1.1%.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 1.4%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index lost 0.3%.
- The euro rose 0.2% to $1.1857.
- The Japanese yen strengthened 0.3% to 105.78 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped three basis points to 0.65%.
- Germany’s 10-year yield decreased two basis points to -0.50%.
- Britain’s 10-year yield fell one basis point to 0.225%.
- The Bloomberg Commodity Index declined 0.8%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.8% to $42.58 a barrel.
- Gold strengthened 1.2% to $1,951.59 an ounce.