By Mark DeCambre, MarketWatch , Joy Wiltermuth
The information-technology sector rallies nearly 2% in Monday trade, leading S&P 500's 11 sectors
Major stock indexes closed higher Monday, led by technology-related shares, as investors weighed optimism over a quick recovery for the domestic economy, or V-shaped rebound, against evidence of an acceleration of COVID-19 infections in half of all U.S. states and elsewhere in the world.
How did benchmarks perform?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 153.50 points, or 0.6%, to end at 26,024.96, after starting the session down nearly 204 points. The S&P 500 rose 20.12 points, or 0.7%, to finish at 3,117.86, off its intraday low of 3,079.26, and powered by a 1.9% jump in information technology .
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite picked up 110.35 points, or 1.1%, closing at a record high of 10,056.47, while booking its seventh day in a row of gains and clinching its longest win streak since Dec. 26, 2019, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
On Friday (), the Dow booked a weekly gain of 1%, the S&P 500 gained 1.9%, and the Nasdaq returned 3.7%.
What drove the market?
High-flying technology companies that outshined the market during the pandemic helped propel major stock indexes higher on Monday, after the weekend saw cases of the disease caused by the novel strain of coronavirus pick up momentum () as more U.S. states and businesses reopened.
Investors still view local governments as reluctant to reinstitute restrictions on social activities or stall plans to ease lockdown measures further, as the economy shows signs of improvement from the depths of the COVID-19 crisis.
"Virus numbers are picking up," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co. "But it's not to the extent that we're looking at a shutdown again."
Bittles said investors have become upbeat about better-than-expected U.S. economic data and hopes that Congress will pass () another nearly $1 trillion fiscal stimulus package this summer.
"That's all a big positive for the economy," he said.
Shares of Nike, Inc.(NKE)Apple Inc.(AAPL) and Microsoft Corp.(MSFT) led the Dow higher on Monday.
U.S. stocks booked gains, despite briefly pulling back late in the session, following multiple reports that President Donald Trump () plans to sign an executive order Monday to temporarily halt workers with visas in the H-1B category, and others, from coming to the U.S. amid the pandemic. The order also is expected to extend to January a pause on issuing "green cards" to new immigrants, an NPR report said.
The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase in global COVID-19 cases (/), more than 183,000, while South Korea on Monday declared its resurgence of the deadly virus a "second wave ( )."
Domestically, there are 24 states (showed an increasing trend in cases this past week, with California, Texas and Florida continuing to lead the way, each with more than 4,000 new cases on Sunday alone, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The global tally for COVID-19 has topped 9 million ( ).
"The biggest uncertainty surrounds the potential for a renewed and sharp pick-up in COVID-19 cases," wrote Ben May, Oxford Economics' director of global macro research, in a note Monday. "While concerns about a second wave have grown recently sparked by a rise in case numbers in some regions, it's too early to conclude that another wave is coming."
New York City started allowing companies to reopen their offices Monday after a three-month lockdown because of the pandemic.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said the (administration is preparing for a second wave, but isn't anticipating one. "We don't necessarily expect a second wave, but prudence dictates that we plan for it. There is no contradiction," he told CNN's Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.
A number of strategists, however, are betting that the economy will stage a sharp rebound out of recession, even as infections pick up. "History is not on the side of investors expecting anything less than a V-shape," wrote analysts at Jefferies, led by global equity strategist Sean Darby, in a research note anticipating improvement in earnings as manufacturing data steadies from coronavirus lows.
Looking ahead, the Federal Reserve will release the results of its annual stress tests on the nation's largest banks (Thursday. The Fed has conducted stress tests on the biggest banks every year since 2009 and this year is particularly important in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Read:Volatility could spell trouble for bank stocks ()
In economic data, the Chicago Fed's national activity index (to a reading of 2.61 in May from a revised minus-17.89 in April. A number above a zero value for the index, which is a weighted average of 85 economic indicators, indicates that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth. Negative values indicate below-average growth.
Existing home sales fell 9.7% compared with Apr (( ), to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 3.91 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Which stocks were in focus?
How did other markets trade?
West Texas Intermediate U.S. crude () erased early losses, adding 71 cents, or 1.8%, to settle at $40.73 a barrel. In precious metals, gold futures for August ( ) gained $13.40, or 0.8%, to finish at $1,766.40 an ounce, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its highest level in nearly 10 weeks.
The 10-year Treasury note yield () rose less than 1 basis points to 0.704%. Bond prices move inversely to yields.
The greenback was down 0.6% against basket of its major rivals, based on trading in the ICE U.S. Dollar Index .
In global equities, the Stoxx Europe 600 index () ( down 0.8%, while the FTSE 100 index also fell 0.8%. In Asian markets ( ), China's benchmark CSI 300 index gained 0.1%, and the Japanese Nikkei closed 0.2% lower.
Sunny Oh contributed reporting
-Joy Wiltermuth; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 22, 2020 16:56 ET (20:56 GMT)
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