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U.S. Stocks Close Mostly Higher On Late-Day Advance

wallstreet oct03 04aug20 lt

Stocks showed a lack of direction for much of the trading session on Tuesday but managed to end the day mostly higher. The major averages benefited from a late move to the upside after spending the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

The Dow closed higher for the third straight session, climbing 164.07 points or 0.6 percent to 26,828.47. The Nasdaq rose 38.37 points or 0.4 percent to a new record closing high of 10,941.17 and the S&P 500 advanced 11.90 to 0.4 percent to 3,306.51, its best closing level in over five months.

The late-day strength on Wall Street may partly have reflected a positive reaction to comments from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken.

McConnell told reports he is "prepared to support" a coronavirus relief bill agreement between Democrats and the White House even is he has "some problems with certain parts of it."

Uncertainty about a new stimulus contributed to the choppy trading seen for much of the day, as negotiators have thus far struggled to reach an agreement.

Democrats and Trump administration officials said they made progress towards a deal during a meeting on Monday, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., noted the two sides "still have our differences."

The amount of the federal unemployment benefit remains a key sticking point, as Republicans want to slash the benefit to $200 per week and Democrats want to keep the benefit at $600 per week.

A disagreement over funding for state and local governments is also holding up a deal, with President Donald Trump accusing Democrats of seeking to bail out poorly run Democratic-run states and cities.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing another substantial increase in new orders for manufactured goods in the month of June.

The Commerce Department said factory orders soared by 6.2 percent in June after skyrocketing by a revised 7.7 percent in May.

Economists had expected factory orders to jump by 5.0 percent compared to the 8.0 percent spike originally reported for the previous month.

Sector News

Gold stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading session, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 4.4 percent to its best closing level in over seven years.

The rally by gold stocks came amid a spike by the precious metal, with gold for December delivery skyrocketing $34.70 to $2,021 an ounce and closing above $2,000 an ounce for the first time ever.

Substantial strength was also visible among energy stocks, which moved higher along with the prices of natural gas and crude oil.

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index soared by 3.6 percent, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index jumped by 2.9 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index advanced by 1.9 percent.

Airline stocks also saw considerable strength on the day, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index surging up by 2.4 percent after ending the previous session at its lowest closing level in two months.

Commercial real estate, telecom and utilities stocks also moved to the upside on the day, while biotechnology and software stocks gave back ground after Monday's rally.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, most stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved sharply higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index spiked by 2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index fell by 0.4 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries showed a notable rebound following the pullback seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, slid by 4.8 basis points to 0.515 percent.

Looking Ahead

The latest economic news may attract attention on Wednesday, with traders likely to keep an eye on reports on private sector employment, the U.S. trade deficit and service sector activity.

On the earnings front, Disney (DIS), Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Allstate (ALL), Beyond Meat (BYND), Monster Beverage (MNST), Planet Fitness (PLNT), and Western Union (WU) are among the companies releasing their quarterly results after the close of today's trading.

CVS Health (CVS), Energizer (ENR), Humana (HUM), Office Depot (ODP), Regeneron (REGN), and Wendy's (W) are also among the companies due to report their results before the start of trading on Wednesday.

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