U.S. stocks open higher, resuming upward climb

Andrew Cummings
July 9, 2020

Among individual companies, United Airlines fell 1.1 per cent as it said it would cut back some August flights because the latest rise in U.S. coronavirus cases was hitting demand.

The U.S. reports more than 60K new COVID-19 cases for all of Tuesday. The Nasdaq outpaced the other two major indexes, ending 1.4% higher, led by Amazon.com, its fourth record closing high this month.

Wednesday's move higher comes even as the US reported a record daily spike of more than 60,000 coronavirus cases on Tuesday.

"We expect the tug of war between better economic data and concerns over rising Covid-19 cases to continue through the month unless we get better daily virus numbers, and/or news on a vaccine", said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in NY.

Adding to the optimistic tone late in the session, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard told CNBC in an interview that USA unemployment will likely decline to below 8% "maybe even 7%" by the end of the year.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent to 3,166.67, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.0 per cent to 10,446.59.

Allstate Corp shares fell 4.8% as the US insurer said it would buy National General Holdings Corp for about $4 billion, scaling up its auto insurance business.

The benchmark S&P 500 and blue-chip Dow Industrials have risen about 45% from their March lows and are now about 6% and 11% from their record levels hit in February. The inventory data for the week will released at 10:30 AM with crude oil inventories expected to show a drawdown of -3.2M barrels.

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