US Market gains on promising vaccine trial data

July 16,2020

The US stock market settled session higher on Wednesday, 15 July 2020, as investors risk sentiments supported by encouraging results from a coronavirus vaccine clinical study and indications of increased business activity. Goldman Sachs Group added to the advance after reporting one of its best quarters by revenue ever.

At closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 227.51 points, or 0.85%, to 26,870.10. The S&P 500 index added 29.04 points, or 0.91%, to 3,226.56. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 61.91 points, or 0.59%, to 10,550.49.

The Wall Street commenced trading with firm footing today as traders reacted positively to the drugmaker Moderna announcement that participants in an early trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate developed antibodies. Moderna Inc rallied 6.9%.

Adding to investors' enthusiasm, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book survey showed U.S. businesses saw an uptick in activity into the beginning of July as states eased restrictions to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Major indexes were also lifted by strong quarterly earnings from Goldman Sachs, driven by strong results in the trading and investment-banking divisions. Goldman Sachs rose 1.4%.

However, market gains were capped amid lingering worries about another coronavirus lockdown, as coronavirus cases continue to climb in the US, threatening to derail the economic recovery as states are forced to pause or roll back reopening plans. On Tuesday, the US reported more than 67,400 new COVID-19 cases, another record. Nearly half came from Texas, California, and Florida. Total US cases surged to more than 3.3 million.

UnitedHealth Group Inc fell 1.4% after warning of rising costs later this year as Americans catch up on less urgent surgeries halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

ECONOMIC NEWS: US Industrial Production Jumps For Second Straight Month In June- US industrial production soared by 5.4% in June after jumping by 1.4% in May, spiked, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. Despite the substantial increase, the Fed noted industrial production remained 10.9% below its pre-pandemic February level. The central bank also said industrial production for the second quarter as a whole plunged by an annual 42.6%, reflecting the largest quarterly decrease since the industrial sector retrenched after World War II. The bigger than expected jump in production in June was led by manufacturing output, which skyrocketed by 7.2% after surging up by 3.8% in May.

Fed's Beige Book Says Outlook Remains Highly Uncertain But Indicates Increase In Economic Activity- The Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in the twelve Fed districts, indicated the recent increase in economic activity came as consumer spending picked up as many non-essential businesses were allowed to reopen. U.S. economic activity increased in almost all Federal Reserve districts in recent weeks, but the central bank's Beige Book noted activity remained well below where it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail sales rose in all Fed districts, with a rebound in vehicle sales leading the way along with sustained growth in the food and beverage and home improvement sectors. The Fed said leisure and hospitality spending also improved in recent weeks but remained far below year-ago levels. However, the report said payrolls were well below pre-pandemic levels and job turnover rates remained high, as contacts across districts reported new layoffs. Looking ahead, the Fed said outlooks remained highly uncertain, as contacts grappled with how long the COVID-19 pandemic would continue and the magnitude of its economic implications.

Among Indian ADR, HDFC Bank added 0.93% to $46.73, ICICI Bank rose 0.75% to $9.39, Dr Reddys Labs was up 1.28% to $53.69, Wipro climbed 10.32% to $3.85, WNS Holdings added 4.57% to $57.66, and INFOSYS rose 12.46% to $11.91, while Vedanta fell 0.17% to $5.81. Tata Motors ended flat at $7.02.

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