Dow Jumps 150 Points As Investors Await More Coronavirus Stimulus

TOPLINE

The market finished higher on Tuesday, building on its strong start to the month as investors watched for updates on the next round of coronavirus stimulus from U.S. lawmakers.

KEY FACTS

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.6%, over 150 points, on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 rose 0.4% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4%.

Market sentiment initially took a hit as lawmakers remained deadlocked over a new coronavirus stimulus package: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cited “productive” discussions on Monday, but added that both sides still have differences.

Democrats and Republicans have reportedly agreed on an additional $1,200 stimulus check, while they are yet to reach a solution on additional federal unemployment insurance, which expired last week.

Shares of Microsoft fell nearly 2% after rallying more than 5.5% on Monday: The company recently confirmed that it is holding talks to acquire Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, which President Donald Trump has threatened to ban in the U.S. if it’s not bought by September.

Chinese state media, for their part, responded with threats of possible retaliation on Tuesday, calling the U.S. a “rogue country” and the potential sale of TikTok to Microsoft “open robbery.”

Meanwhile, shares of Ford jumped over 2% after the company announced that CEO Jim Hackett will retire in October and be replaced by COO Jim Farley, a move which comes in the middle of an $11 billion restructuring project.

Kodak is reportedly under investigation by the SEC about getting awarded a $765 million loan from the U.S. government to start producing drug ingredients, with its stock skyrocketing ahead of the announcement last week.

Surprising fact

Of the 352 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported second quarter earnings so far, nearly 83% have beaten Wall Street expectations, according to Refinitiv data. That is the highest rate on record dating back to 1994, with just 16% of companies reporting below analyst expectations.

Tangent

Gold prices are continuing to skyrocket, as investors increasingly turn to safe haven assets amid stock market uncertainty. Gold futures rose 1.75% to close at $2,021—a new record closing price. So far this year, gold is up over 32%, on pace for its best year since 1979.

Key background

A strong rally in Big Tech stocks pushed the market higher on Monday to kick off the new month, with the Nasdaq jumping 1.5% to close at a new record high. The Dow rose 0.9%, while the S&P gained 0.7%—reaching its highest closing level since February 21, before the coronavirus market sell-off. The major averages have now posted four consecutive months of gains after moving higher again in July.

Further reading

Here’s What China Says About TikTok Being Sold To Microsoft, Potential Ban (Forbes)

Here’s Where Stimulus Talks Stand In Washington Right Now (Forbes)

Slashing $600 Unemployment Benefits Would Be ‘Absolutely Devastating’ For U.S. Economy (Forbes)

Here’s Why Your Unemployment Benefits Could Be Delayed For Months (Forbes)

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