S&P 500 scales over four-month peak on vaccine hopes, Goldman profit beat

The Wall Street sign is seen near the New York Stock Exchange, November 19, 2012. — Reuters pic
The Wall Street sign is seen near the New York Stock Exchange, November 19, 2012. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, July 15 — Wall Street gained today with the S&P 500 hitting its highest in more than four months following a strong quarterly showing by Goldman Sachs and promising early data for a potential Covid-19 vaccine.

The US lender jumped 1.4 per cent as its trading revenue doubled in the second quarter, driven by big swings in stock and bond markets since March.

Morgan Stanley gained 0.6 per cent and Bank of America 1.1 per cent ahead of their results on Thursday, which would wrap up earnings from the big six US banks. The broader banking index climbed 2.0 per cent.

Energy, industrials and materials led gains among the major S&P sectors.

“We’re being led by the cyclical investing which means people believe that the economy has reached a nadir and is going to start trending higher,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

The three main US stock indexes have recouped most of their losses from the coronavirus-led slump, with a raft of stimulus measures and encouraging economic data lifting the S&P 500 to within 5 per cent of its record high hit in February.

With the second-quarter earnings season now underway, investors are looking for annual forecasts from marquee companies for signs of the pace of the rebound in Corporate America.

Wall Street’s fear gauge eased for the second straight day after spiking on Monday amid a record surge in US coronavirus cases.

“The market started off strong on the news that Moderna is finding some success in their interim phase one trials for a Covid-19 drug and the news from Goldman Sachs feeding by a wide margin,” said Pavlik.

UnitedHealth Group Inc fell 0.3 per cent after warning of rising costs later this year as Americans catch up on less urgent surgeries halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Moderna Inc surged 12.4 per cent after a small-scale study showed its experimental Covid-19 vaccine produced high levels of virus-killing antibodies, bolstering hopes the shot could prove effective in later stages of testing.

Travel-related stocks Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Marriott International and Wynn Resorts rose between 7 per cent and 11 per cent, with the S&P 1500 airlines index up 6.4 per cent.

At 10:49 am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 342.12 points, or 1.28 per cent, at 26,984.71, the S&P 500 was up 38.89 points, or 1.22 per cent, at 3,236.41. The Nasdaq Composite was up 114.95 points, or 1.10 per cent, at 10,603.52.

Apple rose 1.6 per cent after Europe’s second-top court rejected an EU order to the iPhone maker to pay 13 billion euros (US$14.78 billion) in Irish back taxes.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 6.41-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 5.63-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 24 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 54 new highs and no new lows. — Reuters

Related Articles