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Tech leads Wall St higher as virus fears rise

  • US coronavirus cases top 7 million.
  • Costco Wholesale drops on high COVID-19 costs.
  • Cruise operators jump after Barclays upgrade.
  • Indexes up: Dow 0.40%, S&P 0.68%, Nasdaq 1.27%.
Published September 25, 2020

Wall Street's main indexes rose on Friday, led by technology-related stocks, but were still on track for their longest weekly losing streak in a year as fears about the coronavirus' impact on the economy dented investor sentiment.

Shares of tech mega-caps including Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc and Netflix Inc, which tend to outperform during economic uncertainty, climbed between 0.5% and 2.3%.

The information technology index jumped another 1.4% as investors ditched value-linked stocks on signs of a slowdown in the broader economic recovery.

All the three major US stock indexes were on course for their fourth straight week of declines - their longest weekly losing streak since August 2019.

Volatility has also shot up as investors looked for clarity on more Congressional stimulus ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

"You've had this nice recovery through the summer, and coming into the fall, the economy is just a little bit more vulnerable, particularly with a lot of the stimulus that we had starting to taper off now," said Mike Dowdall, portfolio manager at BMO Global Asset Management in Chicago.

At 1:03 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 107.27 points, or 0.40%, at 26,922.71, the S&P 500 was up 22.08 points, or 0.68%, at 3,268.67, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 135.07 points, or 1.27%, at 10,807.34.

The S&P industrials sector added 0.9% as data showed new orders for key US-made capital goods jumped in August, while a 1.1% slide in energy stocks put them on course for one of their worst weeks since the coronavirus-driven crash in March.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Corp jumped more than 6% after a report said Barclays upgraded their stock to "overweight".

Boeing Co gained 4.3% after Europe's chief aviation safety regulator said the planemaker's grounded 737 MAX could receive regulatory approval to resume flying in November and enter service by the end of the year.

Costco Wholesale Corp fell 1.9% as the warehouse chain recorded high coronavirus-related costs for the second straight quarter.

Novavax Inc jumped 10.6% after the drugmaker launched a late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the UK.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1.49-to-1 on the NYSE and 2.31-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 15 new highs and 35 new lows.

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