Markets Optimistic as Wallstreet Closes Higher.
Wall Street’s indices climbed on Thursday, with the Nasdaq erasing losses for 2020, following a clutch of upbeat earnings reports led by PayPal as investors looked past more weak jobs data caused by the coronavirus-induced economic downturn.
Energy , financials and materials , which have lagged this year, led the way among S&P 500 sectors, while consumer staples lagged the most.
Shares of PayPal Holdings soared 14% and boosted the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq after the company said it expects a strong recovery in payments volumes in the second quarter as social distancing drives more people to shop online.
Stocks have rebounded sharply since late March from the coronavirus-fueled sell-off, helped by massive monetary and fiscal stimulus. Investors are now watching efforts by a number of states to spark their economies by easing restrictions put in place to fight the outbreak.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 211.25 points, or 0.89%, to 23,875.89, the S&P 500 gained 32.77 points, or 1.15%, to 2,881.19 and the Nasdaq Composite added 125.27 points, or 1.41%, to 8,979.66.
The Nasdaq turned marginally positive for 2020 by closing above 8,972.604, after being down well over 20% for the year as of late March. The S&P 500 remains down over 10% this year.
Investors were also encouraged by news that China’s exports unexpectedly rose in April for the first time this year as factories raced to make up for lost sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The development of treatments for the coronavirus has been watched closely by Wall Street as key for resuming economic activity. Moderna Inc shares rose 8.7% after the company sped up plans for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine and said it expected to start a late-stage trial in early summer.
The S&P 500 posted nine new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 56 new highs and eight new lows.
About 10.4 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, below the 11.7 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.