Wall St ends up despite West Asian tensions as tech-related shares gain

Reuters NEW YORK | Updated on January 07, 2020 Published on January 07, 2020

US stocks ended higher on Monday, rebounding from Friday's losses as investors brushed aside worries about increased tensions in West Asia and shares of Alphabet and other internet names gained.

The S&P 500 energy index rose along with oil prices after the US air strike that killed Iran's top military commander on Friday, raising the threat of a new conflagration in West Asia. Stocks investors remained jittery at the start of trade on Monday but the market gained strength heading into the close. Friday's losses came a day after major indexes notched record highs on the new year's first trading day.

“The geopolitical spark knocked it down from its highs, but in the absence of any additional escalation there, the market will end up shrugging its shoulders and I think that’s what you saw today,” said Michael Antonelli, market strategist at Robert W Baird in Milwaukee. “The start of a fresh year and the deployment of fresh capital into the market” helped, he added.

Top internet companies led the S&P 500 higher. Alphabet Inc rose 2.7 per cent after Pivotal Research upgraded the stock to “buy”. But chipmakers were among the day's biggest decliners, after ranking as star performers in 2019. The Philadelphia semiconductor index, which surged about 60 per cent last year, was down 1.0 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 68.5 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 28,703.38, the S&P 500 gained 11.43 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 3,246.28, and the Nasdaq Composite added 50.70 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 9,071.47.

Boeing Co ended up 0.3 per cent, reversing slight losses earlier. The Wall Street Journal reported that the plane maker was considering plans to raise more debt to bolster its finances after the grounding of its 737 MAX jet. The S&P 500 communication services index was the top gainer among the major sectors, rising 1.2 per cent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.16-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.17-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 23 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 73 new highs and 26 new lows.

Volume on US exchanges was 7.77 billion shares, compared to the 6.93 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

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Published on January 07, 2020
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