Nasdaq, S&P 500 Climb To New Record Intraday Highs
Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Wednesday, largely offsetting the weakness seen in the previous session. With the upward move, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have reached new record intraday highs.
The major averages have seen further upside in recent trading, reaching new highs for the session. The Dow is up 135.76 points or 0.5 percent at 29,367.95, the Nasdaq is up 87.80 points or 0.9 percent at 9,820.55 and the S&P 500 is up 19.62 points or 0.6 percent at 3,389.91.
Easing concerns about the coronavirus outbreak have contributed to the strength on Wall Street after Chinese officials reported the lowest number of newly confirmed cases since late January.
China’s National Health Commission reported 1,749 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the nationwide total to 74,185. More than 2,000 people have died as a result of the outbreak.
A rebound by shares of Apple (AAPL) has also generated some positive sentiment, with the tech giant jumping by 1.4 percent after slumping by 1.8 percent on Tuesday.
Apple warned of weaker than previously forecast second quarter revenue due to the coronavirus outbreak, but traders seem optimistic the impact will only be temporary.
On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing producer prices increased by much more than anticipated in the month of January.
The Labor Department said it producer price index for final demand climbed by 0.5 percent in January after rising by 0.2 percent in December. Economists had expected producer prices to inch up by 0.1 percent.
Excluding a pullback in energy prices and a modest increase in food prices, core producer prices still rose by 0.5 percent in January compared to economist estimates for a 0.2 percent uptick.
A separate report released by the Commerce Department showed a pullback in new residential construction in the month of January.
The Commerce Department said housing starts slumped by 3.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.567 million in January after soaring by 17.7 percent to a revised rate of 1.626 million in December.
Economists had expected housing starts to tumble by 11.4 percent to a rate of 1.425 million from the 1.608 million originally reported for the previous month.
Meanwhile, the report said building permits spiked by 9.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.551 million in January after sliding by 3.7 percent to a revised rate of 1.420 million in December.
Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, had been expected to rise by 2.4 percent to a rate of 1.450 million from the 1.416 million originally reported for the previous month.
Semiconductor stocks have shown a substantial move back to the upside, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index jumping by 2.1 percent.
Natural gas, oil and brokerage stocks are also seeing notable strength, while most of the other major sectors are showing more modest moves.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.9 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose by 0.5 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has jumped by 1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are up by 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries have climbed off their worst levels but continue to see modest weakness. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1 basis point at 1.566 percent.
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