US stocks shed bulk of coronavirus losses

Stocks hit record highs, giving the S&P 500 a long-awaited record not seen since February. Strong housing data and better-than-expected retail earnings served as a catalyst.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.23%, eclipsing its intraday high of 3,393.52, before surpassing its February peak and closing at 3,389.78, the 129th record close under President Trump.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.73%, making its own record high as Tesla shares zoomed above $1,900 apiece for the first time before settling lower. The recent run in the stock has made Elon Musk the fourth wealthiest person in the world.

Apple also rose, coming closer to the $467.77 a share needed to garner a $2 trillion market capitalization.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged, slipped 0.24% as two members gave back earlier gains despite solid earnings.

Home Depot Inc. reported better-than-expected top and bottom lines as U.S. comparable sales rose 25% from a year ago.

And fellow Dow member Walmart Inc. said online sales rose 97% versus last year, helping drive a 79% jump in profit.

Looking at the economy, housing starts rose 23% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1.496 million, beating the 1.24 million that was anticipated by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. Building permits, meanwhile, climbed 19% to 1.495 million, ahead of the 1.32 million that was expected.

The results sent shares of homebuilders, like Toll Brothers Inc., Pulte Group and Lennar Corp. higher.

Meanwhile, Boeing job cuts will extend beyond its initial plan to eliminate 10% of its workforce. The company is offering workers, mostly in its commercial airplanes unit, services division and corporate operation, a second voluntary layoff opportunity.

Oracle is in talks to acquire the U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand assets of the social-media app TikTok from Chinese owner ByteDance, according to CNBC, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Looking at commodities, gold climbed $14.40 to $1,999.40 an ounce while West Texas Intermediate crude oil slid was unchanged at $42.89 a barrel.

U.S. Treasurys were little changed with the yield on the 10-year note holding near 0.68%.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX lost 0.3% while France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE fell 0.68% and 0.83%, respectively.

Asian markets finished mixed with China’s Shanghai Composite adding 0.36%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edging up 0.08% and Japan’s Nikkei slipping 0.2%.

Author: Jonathan Garber

Source: Fox Business: S&P 500 secures record, Nasdaq notches another

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