Wall Street climbs on healthcare, tech push


(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose again on Thursday, boosted by healthcare and technology stocks, as investors continued to bet on a swift recovery from the coronavirus-driven economic slump.

The Dow Jones index got a lift from a 1.6% gain in Boeing Co shares after the planemaker said it had resumed production of its 737 MAX passenger jet at its Washington state plant, although at a “low rate.”

The healthcare and technology sectors gave the S&P 500 its biggest boost.

The S&P 500 is up about 38% from the low hit in March as a restart in business activity after weeks of shutdown and massive amounts of stimulus measures to support the economy have driven hopes of a strong recovery.

“Because of the reopening of the economy, I think investors are feeling more optimistic that we will end up with a V-shaped economic recovery,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York, saying that helped boost financials shares recently and other sectors across the board.

“Just in the past week, what we’re seeing is that all sectors of all styles and sizes are in positive territory,” Stovall said.

The S&P financial index was down on Thursday but is up more than 9% for the week so far.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 146.97 points, or 0.58%, to 25,695.24, the S&P 500 gained 26.44 points, or 0.87%, to 3,062.57 and the Nasdaq Composite added 73.06 points, or 0.78%, to 9,485.42.

Labor Department data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits held above 2 million for a 10th straight week, though initial jobless claims have declined steadily since hitting a record high in mid-March.

However, worsening ties between the United States and China in recent weeks and fears of a second wave of coronavirus infection pose a threat to the stock market’s strong recovery from its steep selloff, according to analysts.

Investors were keeping a close watch on social media platforms Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc ahead of an expected order from President Donald Trump that would review a law that has long protected the internet companies from being responsible for the material posted by their users.

Discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc jumped 10.4% after reporting better-than-expected quarterly sales and profit as consumers stockpiled groceries and other essentials as the novel coronavirus outbreak spread.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.38-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.02-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 17 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 64 new highs and seven new lows.

Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler