US stocks rise on Wall Street as S&P 500 hits record high

Business

US stocks rise on Wall Street as S&P 500 hits record high

Sunday, November 29, 2020

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NEW YORK, USA (AP) — The S&P 500 rose to a record high Friday, November 27, as investors continue to look forward to the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine and relief for the global economy.

The benchmark index rose 8 points, or 0.2 per cent, led by gains in technology companies, and closed at an all-time high of 3,638.35. The Nasdaq also closed at a record helped by gains in Apple, Tesla, Zoom and other tech companies.

Positive developments on the vaccine front have driven double-digit gains in the major indexes this month as investors look forward to progress in gaining control over the pandemic that plunged the global economy into its deepest slump since the 1930s. That optimism persisted this week even as one vaccine candidate suffered a setback and cases of coronavirus remain at elevated levels.

Meanwhile, retailers were hoping that their slumping sales get a boost from shoppers on Black Friday but early indications are that store traffic was light.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which earlier this week crossed 30,000 for the first time, rose 37 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 29,910.37. The Nasdaq gained 111, or 0.9 per cent, to 12,205.85.

US markets closed at 1:00 pm Eastern after being shut for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Health care companies also posted solid gains. Moderna jumped 16.4 per cent and Pfizer rose 1.9 per cent. The two companies earlier this month released results showing their COVID-19 vaccine candidates were highly effective in tests. The shares got a boost Friday after a competing vaccine suffered a setback.

Retailers need a boost from Black Friday and holiday shopping altogether to try and recoup sales lost to the pandemic. Early indications are that people are staying home and choosing to do any shopping online.

Tech shares have led the market's climb back from its plunge in March as investors bet giants such as Apple and Microsoft will keep raking in the profits whether Americans are forced to stay home or the economy begins to return to something resembling normalcy. Apple rose 0.5 per cent.

Tesla rose 2.1 per cent and Zoom Video Communications gained 6.3 per cent. The two stocks have been market darlings so far this year with gains of 600 per cent or more.


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