Wall Street ends sharply higher on German stimulus optimism

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange August 14, 2019. — Reuters pic
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange August 14, 2019. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Aug 17 — US stocks rebounded yesterday as an ebbing bond rally and news of potential German economic stimulus brought buyers back to the equities market, closing the book on a tumultuous week.

While all three major US stock averages ended the session higher, they still logged their third consecutive weekly losses, having been rattled since Monday by growing US-China trade animosity, simmering geopolitical tensions and signals from the bond market that sparked fears of impending recession.

Germany’s coalition government is willing to suspend its balanced budget rule and take on debt, according to Der Spiegel magazine, raising hopes that Europe’s largest economy could steer itself away from recession and cooling worries over a global economic slowdown.

“The market is looking for some positive news to take into the weekend,” said Mark Kepner, equity trader at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.

David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York, agreed, but added that underlying anxieties remain.

“(It was a) great headline but further analysis may eventually create uncertainty and weaken markets,” Carter said. “The level of uncertainty around the world is rising significantly, with no clear end in sight.”

German stimulus hopes helped the benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield rise from three-year lows, closing the book on a fraught week which saw 10-year yields dip below those of two-year notes, a classic recessionary red flag.

Rising bond yields gave a boost to rate-sensitive banks, sending the S&P 500 Banks index up 2.6 per cent

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 306.62 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 25,886.01, the S&P 500 gained 41.09 points, or 1.44 per cent, to 2,888.69 and the Nasdaq Composite added 129.38 points, or 1.67 per cent, to 7,895.99.

All 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 closed firmly in the black, with industrials, technology and financials enjoying the largest percentage gains.

Nvidia Corp jumped 7.3 per cent after the chipmaker’s quarterly results bested analyst estimates, helping the Philadelphia chip index gain 2.8 per cent.

Deere & Co cut its earnings forecast after missing Street profit estimates in the face of the ongoing US-China trade war. Still, the farm equipment maker’s decision to cut costs sent the stock up 3.8 per cent.

General Electric Co surged by 9.7 per cent after Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp bought nearly US$2 million (RM8.3 million) in shares in the wake of the conglomerate’s worst one-day percentage drop in 11 years.

The second-quarter earnings season approaches the finish line, with 459 of the companies in the S&P 500 having posted results. Of those, 73 per cent beat Street estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

Analysts now see S&P 500 second-quarter earnings growth of 2.9 per cent year-on-year, per Refinitiv.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.36-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.69-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 32 new 52-week highs and 8 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 39 new highs and 106 new lows.

Volume on US exchanges was 6.61 billion shares, compared with the 7.54 billion average over the last 20 trading days. — Reuters