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Stocks – Wall Street Rides Tech Higher as Facebook, Amazon Hit Record Highs

imageStock Markets14 hours ago (May 20, 2020 04:15PM ET)

(C) Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim – Wall Street ended strongly on Wednesday, led by large-cap tech stocks, with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) hitting record highs as investors continued to cheer efforts to reopen the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.52%, or 369 points. The S&P 500 gained 1.67%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 2.08%.

With all U.S. States partially reopened, investors upped their bets on big tech stocks, with Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Amazon and Facebook attracting strong bids.

Amazon and Facebook closed at record highs, with support in the latter sparked by its announcement from a day earlier, when the social media giant unveiled a new feature, Facebook Shops, which makes it easier for customers to sell on Instagram and Facebook.

Energy, meanwhile, was among the biggest gainers as U.S. oil prices climbed after weekly crude supplies fell, adding to optimism for a recovery in oil demand as economic reopening efforts continue.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), up 7.3%, Baker Hughes (NYSE:BKR), up 7.7%, and Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC), up 6.8%, were among the notable movers in energy.

Financials, meanwhile, clawed back some of their losses from a day earlier, led by banks, though weaker U.S. Treasury yields kept a lid on gains.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) was up 3%, while Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) rose more than 2%.

The weaker backdrop for bond yields comes on a historic day in the Treasuries market as the Treasury sold 20-year bonds for the first time since 1986 as the U.S. seeks to fund its massive stimulus program.

On the earnings front, investors continued to digest mixed reports from retailers.

Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) cut gains to end roughly flat after executives warned that same-store sales growth is expected to “moderate” later in 2020. That cooled optimism on the stock after the company reported that same-store sales jumped 11% in its fiscal first quarter.

Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) slumped 7.7% after its first-quarter losses swelled to $1.41 per share on revenue of $588 million, missing estimates for losses for $0.22 per share on revenue of $633.5 million.

In healthcare, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) cut gains to end 2.6% higher as Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) upgraded its price target on the stock to $90 from $37. Its shares fell 10% on Tuesday after a Stat news report suggested that recent optimism over the company’s early-stage results for its potential Covid-19 vaccine was overdone.

In a further sign that U.S.-China trade tensions are more likely to escalate than ease, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that may delist Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges.

Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) ended the day below the flatline, while (NASDAQ:JD) ended flat.

On the monetary policy front, meanwhile, the Federal Reserve minutes showed that policymakers backed rates to remain lower for longer and also floated the idea of yield curve control.

“Members noted that they expected to maintain this target range until they were confident that the economy had weathered recent events and was on track to achieve the Committee’s maximum employment and price stability goals,” the minutes showed.

Stocks – Wall Street Rides Tech Higher as Facebook, Amazon Hit Record Highs

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