The three major U.S. stock indexes posted their fourth gain in five sessions on Wednesday as investors continued to bet on a swift economic recovery from coronavirus-driven lockdowns and the potential for more stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve. The move took place despite a medical watchdog group downplaying the upbeat coronavirus results from Moderna Inc. that earlier in the week was a catalyst by a spectacular rally.
In the cash market, the benchmark S&P 500 Index settled at 2971.61, up 48.67 or +1.85%, the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 24575.90, up 369.04 or +1.65% and the technology-based NASDAQ Composite closed at 9375.78, up 190.68 or +2.45%.
Gains were broad-based, with each of the 11 major S&P sectors on the plus side. The small-cap Russell 2000 Index, which usually leads gains out of a recession, outperformed the large-cap indexes, according to Reuters.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 4.05-to-1 ratio; on the NASDAQ Composite, a 3.53-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 13 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the NASDAQ Composite recorded 74 new highs and nine new lows.
Money Moving into Growth, ‘Re-Opening Stocks’
Since the markets bottomed in late March, technology sector growth stocks have been the catalysts leading the rally. We are now seeing demand for the stocks of companies expected to benefit from the economy re-opening.
Amazon rose 1.98% to hit an all-time high to lead the market higher. Facebook gained 6.04% and reached record levels as well. Stocks that would benefit from the economy reopening also advanced Wednesday. MGM Resorts closed 8.84 higher while United Airlines rose 5.19%.
As states across the country begin to loosen restrictions, hopes for an economic rebound have grown. The NYSE Arca airlines index jumped 5.35% as Delta Air Lines Inc.’s chief executive officer said he was confident travel will return in the next 12 to 18 months.
Moderna Responds to Criticism of Its Coronavirus Results
Moderna would never put out data on its potential vaccine for the coronavirus that was different from “reality,” the biotech firm’s chairman told CNBC on Wednesday.
The comment came a day after health-care publication STAT News reported that some vaccine experts were skeptical of Moderna’s new vaccine data, saying it did not provide critical information to assess its effectiveness. The report sent Moderna’’ stock and the broader U.S. market lower.