U.S. stocks gain to finish banner quarter, shrugging off virus spike


WALL STREET. A person walks down Wall Street in New York City on April 2, 2020. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

WALL STREET. A person walks down Wall Street in New York City on April 2, 2020. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

NEW YORK, USA – Wall Street stocks capped an historically strong quarter on a positive note on Tuesday, June 30, again ending decisively higher and shrugging off a resurgence in United States coronavirus cases.

The S&P 500, the broadest of the 3 major indices, finished at 3,100.29, up 1.5% for the day and around 20% for the quarter, the biggest gain since 1998.

Earlier, European markets experienced a mixed session, while Asian bourses advanced.

The 2nd quarter comprised the period just after Wall Street stocks bottomed out in March in the immediate aftermath of sweeping shutdowns in the US and Europe to stop COVID-19 outbreaks.

As it enters the 2nd half of 2020, the US is still embroiled in the coronavirus crisis, with major states including Texas and Florida rolling back some reopening measures as they face mounting public health problems.

On Tuesday, northeastern states facing elevated cases ordered visitors from additional states to quarantine.

Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci warned the country was heading in the “wrong direction,” and cases could reach 100,000 a day if actions aren’t taken.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare questioned the market’s response to the gloomy coronavirus trends in the US, but said investors may be concluding that restrictions imposed at the local level will succeed.

“Collectively, everyone is on the page that we can flatten the curve again without having to go into a lockdown phase,” O’Hare said.

The market is having a “momentum-driven rally,” he added. “A lot of people think the market should be where it is, yet it keeps going up.”

Elsewhere, London underperformed its peers after a worse-than-expected United Kingdom growth contraction, along with gloomy corporate news from energy major Royal Dutch Shell and renewed lockdown measures in the central English city of Leicester.

But stocks in Shanghai gained after China said its June Purchasing Managers’ Index of factory activity improved in May, beating forecasts. The non-manufacturing reading was also better than hoped.

The data bolstered hopes for an economic rebound, helped by the reopening of businesses around the world.

Oil prices dipped on virus-linked demand concerns and the prospect of the return of Libyan production, dealers said.

Shell, Boeing fall

Among individual companies, Royal Dutch slumped around 4% after announcing it would take a charge of up to $22 billion (19.6 billion euros) due to chronic fallout from the coronavirus and collapsing oil prices.

Boeing plunged 5.8% after Norwegian Air Shuttle announced it canceled an order for 92 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and 5 787 Dreamliners.

The decline gave back some of the 14.4% the company gained on Monday, June 29, as US air safety regulators undertook a long-delayed test flight of the 737 MAX, which has been grounded since March 2019 following two crashes.

Key figures around 8:40 pm GMT

  • New York – Dow: UP 0.9% at 25,812.88 (close)
  • New York – S&P 500: UP 1.5% at 3,100.29 (close)
  • New York – Nasdaq: UP 1.9% at 10,058.77 (close)
  • London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.9% at 6,169.74 (close)
  • Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.6% at 12,310.93 (close)
  • Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.2% at 4,935.99 (close)
  • EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1% at 3,234.07 (close)
  • Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.3% at 22,288.14 (close)
  • Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.5% at 24,427.19 (close)
  • Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.8% at 2,984.67 (close)
  • West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 1.1% at $39.27 per barrel
  • Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 1.3% at $41.15 per barrel
  • Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1234 from $1.1242 at 9 pm GMT
  • Dollar/yen: UP at 107.97 yen from 107.58 yen
  • Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2391 from $1.2298
  • Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.65 pence from 91.41

– Rappler.com





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