Tuesday September 15th


Dow futures jump 200 points, Apple gains more than 1%

U.S. stock index futures ticked higher Tuesday, putting Wall Street on track to build on its strong gains from the previous session. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 200 points, or 0.7%. S&P 500 futures climbed 0.8% and Nasdaq 100 futures traded 1% higher. Shares of major tech companies led the early gains, with Apple and Microsoft rising 1.8% and 1.1%, respectively. Amazon and Alphabet were each up 0.9%. Netflix climbed 1.7% and Facebook traded nearly 1% higher. Tesla shares, meanwhile, popped 3.8% after surging more than 12% on Monday. Stock futures also got a boost after China reported its first retail sales increase for the year. The country’s National Bureau of Statistics said Chinese retail sales rose 0.5% in August. The Shanghai Composite closed 0.5% higher on Tuesday. Wall Street was coming off a strong performance on Monday, with the major averages all rallying more than 1% and advancing stocks outnumbering declining ones nearly 5-to-1 on the New York Stock Exchange. Sentiment was boosted on Monday by positive news on the vaccine front, with AstraZeneca resuming its phase three trial in the United Kingdom and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla saying over the weekend the company should be able to present key data from its trial to regulators by the end of October. Optimism about the United States getting a better handle on the virus was a major reason that LPL Financial raised its year-end target for the S&P 500 to a range of 3,450–3,500 on Monday, said Jeff Buchbinder, an equity strategist at the firm. That target implies an upside of roughly 2% for the market over the rest of the year. Buchbinder said that Monday’s rally was also fueled by the announcement of major deals in the tech space, including Nvidia’s move to buy Arm Holdings from Softbank for roughly $40 billion. “Regardless of the situation, regardless of the sector, big commitments and big mergers tend to show confidence, and we would take those as positive signs,” Buchbinder said. The tech sector could generate more market-moving headlines on Wednesday, with Apple expected to announce new products at a digital-only event. The company is not expected to release a new iPhone, however. The strong session followed a slide for tech stocks in recent weeks that brought the Nasdaq Composite into a correction, which means that the index fell more than 10% below its record high. Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher on Tuesday as investors watched China’s August economic data released earlier in the day. Mainland Chinese stocks edged higher by their close, with the Shanghai composite up 0.51% to about 3,295.68 while the Shenzhen component advanced 0.933% to around 13,143.46. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.32%, as of its final hour of trading. South Korea’s Kospi finished its trading day 0.65% higher at 2,443.58. In Southeast Asia, the Straits Times index in Singapore advanced 0.64%. Japanese stocks also declined on the day, as the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.44% to 23,454.89 while the Topix index shed 0.62% to 1,640.84. Oil prices edged slightly higher on Tuesday, but forecasts of a slower than expected recovery in global fuel demand due to the coronavirus pandemic weighed. Brent crude was up 55 cents, or 1.4%, at $40.16 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 61 cents, or 1.6%, at $37.87 a barrel. Both contracts fell on Monday. The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Tuesday trimmed its 2020 outlook by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 91.7 million bpd, citing caution about the pace of economic recovery. Gold rose to its highest in nearly two weeks on Tuesday, propelled by a softer dollar and expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will reinforce its accommodative monetary policy. Spot gold was up 0.4% to $1,964.34 per ounce, having earlier climbed to its highest since Sept. 2 at $1,968.80. U.S. gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,975.20 per ounce.