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July 20, 2020, 4:54 p.m. EDT

Nasdaq clinches record high as tech stocks propel Dow, S&P 500 ahead of earnings crush

Amazon led S&P 500’s gains on Monday

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By Joy Wiltermuth and Sunny Oh


JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images

Major U.S. stock indexes closed higher Monday, with the Nasdaq scoring a record close and its best daily gain in nearly 12 weeks, as investors looked forward to quarterly results from corporations over the coming days.

Investors also focused on positive developments from coronavirus vaccine candidates and talks in Washington on fresh stimulus.

How did benchmarks perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.24%  added 8.92 points, or less than 0.1%, to finish at 26,680.87, ending two sessions of declines. The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.63%  rose 27.11 points, or 0.8%, to end at 3,251.84. The Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +1.10%  surged 263.90 points, or 2.5%, to end at a record 10,767.09, booking its largest daily percent gain since April 29, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Monday’s all-time closing peak for the Nasdaq represented its 28th of 2020.

The Dow last week logged a 2.3% gain, the S&P 500 advanced 1.3%, and the Nasdaq lost 1.1%.

What drove the market?

Wall Street kicked off a busy week of corporate earnings on a positive note, while U.S. coronavirus cases and deaths continue to reach records. Monday’s market action also underscored why a significant rotation away from high-flying technology stocks to cyclical sectors may hinge on what major corporations have to say about the health of the economy in the coming days.

“Obviously, this week it’s all about earnings,” said John Ham, an associate advisor at New England Investment & Retirement Group, in an interview. “There’s been a lot of enthusiasm for the large-cap tech space,” he said, but thinks any significant burst higher for stocks, beyond the clutch of technology-driven names, might require the support of “actual money managers,” where there’s still “a lot of people sitting on the sidelines.”

Earnings from corporations including Microsoft /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT +1.72% , /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA -3.67%  and Intel /zigman2/quotes/203649727/composite INTC +0.24% , are among a parade of entities reporting that could offer greater insight about the economic outlook as American corporations contend with the worst pandemic in more than 100 years.

See : Is the ‘great rotation’ in the stock market under way as coronavirus cases surge? Or is it a false dawn? Here’s what experts think

The U.S. coronavirus case tally rose to nearly 3.8 million on Monday and the death toll topped 140,000, as new infections continued to surge in the South and West. While the federal government has refused to mandate facial coverings, major retailers have begun to impose their own requirements, including Walmart Inc . /zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite WMT +1.21% , Target Corp . /zigman2/quotes/207799045/composite TGT +2.74% , Best Buy Co. Inc . /zigman2/quotes/205918291/composite BBY +1.85% and Lowe’s Co s /zigman2/quotes/205563664/composite LOW +1.17%   for all customers across the U.S.

The escalation of the deadly pandemic in the U.S. is diminishing hopes for a V-shaped, or quick and strong, economic recovery from the pandemic, as the virus taxes the public-health systems of some states and municipalities and forces local officials to restore lockdown measures to limit a more severe outbreak.

“Renewed outbreaks in the U.S. highlight the reality that a return to normal economic activity may be very difficult, if not impossible, without a widely available cure/vaccine. As a result, markets are likely to remain sensitive to developments from this leading vaccine candidate,” said Jason Pride, Chief Investment Officer of Private Wealth at Glenmede.

Shares of AstraZeneca /zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite AZN -0.80% fell 4% even after the drugmaker and the University of Oxford’s said its Phase 1 clinical trial data for the COVID-19 vaccine candidate showed promising results. The results were published Monday in The Lancet medical journal. BioNTech /zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite BNTX +1.15%  and Pfizer Inc . /zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite PFE +0.08% said their experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced antibodies in people participating in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in Germany.

Market participants also were keeping tabs on potential, additional stimulus in the U.S. and abroad, with European Union leaders in Brussels negotiating an unprecedented €1.85 trillion ($2.1 trillion) budget and coronavirus recovery fund to tackle the crisis.

/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
27,212.31
+64.61 +0.24%
Volume: 246.63M
Sept. 22, 2020 1:53p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,301.82
+20.76 +0.63%
Volume: 1.28B
Sept. 22, 2020 1:53p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
10,897.45
+118.65 +1.10%
Volume: 1.96M
Sept. 22, 2020 1:53p
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/zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 206.03
+3.49 +1.72%
Volume: 16.95M
Sept. 22, 2020 1:53p
P/E Ratio
35.64
Dividend Yield
1.09%
Market Cap
$1532.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
$902,473
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/zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 432.89
-16.50 -3.67%
Volume: 48.90M
Sept. 22, 2020 1:53p
P/E Ratio
1,120
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$418.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
$439,627
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/zigman2/quotes/203649727/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 49.84
+0.12 +0.24%
Volume: 12.16M
Sept. 22, 2020 1:53p
P/E Ratio
9.14
Dividend Yield
2.66%
Market Cap
$211.46 billion
Rev. per Employee
$659,665
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/zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 138.73
+1.66 +1.21%
Volume: 6.61M
Sept. 22, 2020 1:53p
P/E Ratio
22.07
Dividend Yield
1.56%
Market Cap
$388.42 billion
Rev. per Employee
$223,654
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/zigman2/quotes/207799045/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 153.97
+4.11 +2.74%
Volume: 2.82M
Sept. 22, 2020 1:53p
P/E Ratio
22.23
Dividend Yield
1.77%
Market Cap
$75.02 billion
Rev. per Employee
$209,322
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/zigman2/quotes/205918291/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 107.93
+1.96 +1.85%
Volume: 808,090
Sept. 22, 2020 1:53p
P/E Ratio
17.36
Dividend Yield
2.04%
Market Cap
$27.43 billion
Rev. per Employee
$343,032
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205563664/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 161.46
+1.86 +1.17%
Volume: 1.63M
Sept. 22, 2020 1:53p
P/E Ratio
21.40
Dividend Yield
1.49%
Market Cap
$120.62 billion
Rev. per Employee
$230,029
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 55.46
-0.45 -0.80%
Volume: 2.56M
Sept. 22, 2020 1:53p
P/E Ratio
67.55
Dividend Yield
2.47%
Market Cap
$144.61 billion
Rev. per Employee
$342,432
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 66.88
+0.76 +1.15%
Volume: 843,853
Sept. 22, 2020 1:53p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$15.38 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 36.05
+0.03 +0.08%
Volume: 11.39M
Sept. 22, 2020 1:53p
P/E Ratio
14.34
Dividend Yield
4.22%
Market Cap
$200.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
$580,595
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