Wall Street gains on upbeat data, firming yuan

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange August 8, 2019. — Reuters pic
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange August 8, 2019. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Aug 8 — rose today as better-than-expected domestic and data as well as a steadying yuan offered some comfort to investors rattled by an escalation in trade tensions.

However, the consumer staples sector came under pressure after Kraft Heinz Co shares tumbled 15 per cent as the packaged food maker pulled its full-year forecast and wrote down the value of several business units by over US$1 billion (RM4.18 billion).

Markets have been roiled this week on worries of an escalating trade war after a slide in yuan on Monday was perceived as ’s retaliation to President Donald Trump’s latest threat of imposing a fresh round of tariffs on Chinese imports.

The yuan regained some ground today as China’s set its official midpoint firmer than market expectations, signaling an intent to stabilise a decline in the currency. Exports from the world’s second-largest economy posted a surprise rise, while imports fell less than forecast.

Domestic data also pointed to a robust labor market as the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, allaying some worries about a recession and helping US Treasury yields rise.

“It’s (data) very reassuring for investors because that shows the economics of the world aren’t degrading rapidly,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

The benchmark S&P 500 index is looking at its third day of gains but still stands about 4.4 per cent away from its record closing high hit last month.

At 9:44 am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 83.38 points, or 0.32 per cent, at 26,090.45, the S&P 500 was up 16.82 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 2,900.80. The Nasdaq Composite was up 49.73 points, or 0.63 per cent, at 7,912.56.

Symantec Corp shares jumped 9.4 per cent after sources said chipmaker Broadcom Inc was in advanced talks to buy the cybersecurity company’s enterprise business.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc gained 9.8 per cent after the chipmaker launched its second generation of its processor chip for data centres and said that it had landed Alphabet Inc’s Google and Twitter Inc as customers.

Symantec and AMD were the best performing stocks on the S&P 500.

Lyft Inc advanced 4.3 per cent after the ride hailing service raised its outlook for the year and forecast a faster path to profitability. Rival Technologies Inc, due to report quarterly results after the bell, rose 4.2 per cent.

Shares of Walt Disney Co rose 1.6 per cent after upgraded its shares to “outperform” on positive investor sentiment as its video streaming service Disney+ closes in on its US launch.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.23-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 3.03-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded nine new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 31 new highs and 35 new lows. — Reuters

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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