S&P 500 Closed Flat on Increased Corona Virus Infections.
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The S&P 500 closed barely higher, eking out a nominal gain on Monday as investors weighed new spikes in coronavirus infections with expectations that an economy crippled by mandated shutdowns will soon be re-opened for business.
Technology and healthcare shares provided the biggest lift to all three major U.S. stock indexes and led the tech-heavy Nasdaq to its sixth consecutive advance.
The blue-chip Dow lost ground.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average remain within 20% of all-time highs reached in February, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is within 10% of its closing record.
Indeed, despite bleak recent economic data, including Friday’s 20.2 million drop in U.S. payrolls, Wall Street has gained in recent weeks as investors look beyond pandemic to recovery.
But a surge of new coronavirus infections in Germany and South Korea suggested early efforts to lift restrictions could be premature, even as businesses around the world, shuttered by social distancing restrictions, begin re-opening their doors.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 109.33 points, or 0.45%, to 24,221.99, the S&P 500 gained 0.39 points, or 0.01%, to 2,930.19 and the Nasdaq Composite added 71.02 points, or 0.78%, to 9,192.34.
Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, four closed in the black, with healthcare enjoying the largest percentage gain.
First-quarter earnings season is nearing the final stretch, with 440 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 67.5% have beaten Wall Street estimates, according to Refinitiv data.
In aggregate, S&P 500 earnings are seen to have dropped by 12.1% in the first quarter, compared with a year ago.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.68-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.20-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 18 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 104 new highs and 10 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 10.09 billion shares, compared with the 11.39 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days