NEW YORK, May 20 — Wall Street stocks bounced early today, following gains in Europe and Asia after China lowered a key interest rate, as US markets sought a positive end to a dreary week.

Major indices were down about three per cent heading into today’s session, pressured by recession fears following poor results from US retailers that underscored the risks around higher inflation.

Today, China’s central bank lowered the interest rate linked to mortgages in an effort to boost its virus-hit economy.

But Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare attributed the stock market gains to a “contrarian-minded trade” that “stocks are due for a bounce because they are oversold on a short-term basis, sentiment is too negative and money managers are too underweight with their equity positions.” About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.6 per cent at 31,453.59.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.9 per cent to 3,933.87, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.0 per cent to 11,502.92.

Among individual companies, Ross Stores fell more than 20 per cent as it joined the list of retailers reporting a drag from higher operating costs. — AFP