Wall Street Opens Higher 04/08 09:16
Stocks climbed on Wall Street at the opening of trading Wednesday. Maybe
this time it will last.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks climbed on Wall Street at the opening of trading
Wednesday. Maybe this time it will last.
A big gain for the S&P 500 suddenly vanished the day before, and trading
remained unsettled around the world Wednesday. Asian stock markets were mixed
and European indexes fell.
The S&P 500 was up 0.6% after the first 20 minutes of trading. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average rose 170 points, or 0.7%, to 22,813 and the Nasdaq was up
Markets have been incredibly volatile in recent weeks as investors blindly
guess how badly the coronavirus outbreak will hurt corporate profits amid
suffocating uncertainty. The economic damage is widespread, and France's
central bank said its economy entered a recession with a 6% drop in the first
three months of the year.
Countering that has been unprecedented aid from governments and central
banks. Some investors are also pointing to nascent signs that infections and
deaths may soon be peaking or plateauing in several hotspots around the world.
Caught between those forces are investors, who have sent the S&P 500 down
about 20% from its record set in February. Earlier, it had fallen as much as a
third from that mark, reflecting investors' expectations for a steep, sudden
recession and drops in corporate profits. Where stocks go from here depends on
how long it takes for the economy to reopen and get closer to what used to be
Stocks that have been beaten down the most since the sell-off began in
February were leading the market Wednesday, including energy companies,
retailers, airlines and other travel-related companies. That was also the early
trend of Tuesday, before the gains vanished.
Kohl's rose 8.5%, Noble Energy rose 8% and American Airlines Group was up
6%, though all three are still down more than 60% for 2020 so far.
Treasury yields, which signaled worries about the economic damage coming
from the coronavirus outbreak earlier than the stock market, were relatively
steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 0.75% from 0.73% late Tuesday.
European stocks dipped as finance ministers clashed over a proposal to
borrow as a collective to pay for the health crisis. Countries that have been
hardest hit there by COVID-19 are also among those that can least afford to pay
for it, such as Italy and Spain. But the outbreak is dragging on economies
across the continent. German economists predict its economy will shrink 4.2%
Germany's DAX slipped 0.2%, and France's CAC 40 fell 0.6%. The FTSE 100 in
London lost 0.7%.
Trading in Asia was more mixed.
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 2.1%, while stocks in South Korea fell 0.9% and Hong
Kong lost 1.2%.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 82 cents to $24.45 a barrel Wednesday,
recovering some of its 9% slide from the prior day. Oil prices have been even
more volatile than stocks recently as Russia and Saudi Arabia argue about
whether to cut production in the face of withering demand. Oil producers are
set to meet on Thursday.
Brent crude, the international standard, gained 20 cents to $32.07.
While many investors are preoccupied with the pandemic, energy remains
another major factor driving trading.
Even Thursday's meeting was in doubt after Iran demanded greater clarity on
the scale of U.S. oil production before talks can start.
For "more immediate market stability concerns, all eyes and ears remain
trained on the success of the OPEC+ meeting on Thursday," Stephen Innes of
AxiCorp said in a commentary.