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July 15, 2020, 4:37 p.m. EDT

Dow ends 228 points higher as vaccine optimism outshines rising coronavirus cases

Apple shares eke out gain, after EU court battle win over $15 billion tax bill

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By Sunny Oh and Joy Wiltermuth

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Arone also sees “overly pessimistic” forecasts for the COVID-19 damage to corporate earnings. “I think companies can easily step over negative earnings expectations,” he said. “We could see some pleasant surprises in this earnings season, which could keep momentum for stocks going.”

On Wednesday, Dow component Goldman Sachs Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite GS +0.89% /zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite GS +0.89% delivered second-quarter results that beat expectations for earnings, with shares ending 1.4% higher. The bank also reported its second highest revenues in history.

Related : Major banks are hauling in ‘big fees’ from debt and equity underwriting during the coronavirus crisis

“The way bank earnings have been coming in has impressed me,” said Randall Eley, president and chief investment officer at Edgar Lomax Co in Alexandria, Virginia. “Overall, they just aren’t reporting the kind of negative numbers people feared.”

Eley also expects that today’s higher bank reserves, or the cushion lenders keep to buffer against any potential credit losses, will end up being “well beyond what will be needed.”

In other U.S. economic data Wednesday, the New York Reserve Bank’s regional Empire State Index for July posted its first positive reading since February. Industrial production in June jumped by 5.4%, on top of the 1.4% gain in May. Wall Street economists had forecast a 4.1% increase, according to a MarketWatch survey.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker also on Wednesday said he would support a change in monetary policy where the central bank would let the economy run hot until inflation rises above the central bank’s 2% annual target before lifting interest rates.

Which companies were in focus?

  • Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite GS +0.89% shares gained 0.7% after the iPhone maker won a court battle with the European Union in a dispute over a €13 billion ($15 billion) Irish tax bill.

  • Dow component UnitedHealth Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210453738/composite UNH +0.71%  shares fell 1.4% after the health care company reported a second-quarter profit that rose well above expectations, but revenue that came up short, as premiums and services revenue missed

  • Moderna /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA -1.05%  shares surged 6.9% after the company’s positive vaccine announcement.

  • Amazon.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -0.84%   said it would create 1,000 new full-time jobs as it plans to open a new fulfillment center in Pflugerville, Texas. The e-commerce giant’s shares fell 2.4%.

  • Walmart Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite WMT +0.13%   announced that face coverings will be required at all U.S. stores and Sam’s Club warehouses starting July 20. Its shares ended 0.01% lower.

  • Relay Therapeutics Inc . /zigman2/quotes/219481362/composite RLAY -1.27% , a clinical-stage oncology biotech, upsized and raised its expected price range for its initial public offering on Wednesday, with plans to offer 20 million shares priced at $18 to $19 each.

  • J .C. Penney Co. Inc .   shares gained 2% after the retailer said it would cut about 1,000 jobs as it looks to closes 152 stores as part of its restructuring.

  • Forescout Technologies Inc .  rallied 15.4% Wednesday after the cybersecurity company said its deal to be taken private by Advent International was back on but at a lower price.

How did other markets trade

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +1.49%  fell 1.6% to end at 3,361.30, while the CSI 300 Index /zigman2/quotes/210598128/delayed XX:000300 +1.89%  fell 1.3%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -1.24%  lost 1.6%, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +3.30%  eked out a gain of 3.69 points to close at 25,481.58.

In Europe, the pan-European /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.46%  Stoxx 600 Europe Index settled 1.8% higher, while London’s FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.88% was up 1.8%.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y -1.53%  rose 1.5 basis points to 0.629%. Yields and bond prices move in opposite directions. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index /zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed DXY +0.10% , a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, was off 0.2%.

Oil futures rose, with the U.S. benchmark /zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed CL.1 -0.62% adding 91 cents, or 2.3%, to settle at $41.20 a barrel, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold /zigman2/quotes/210034565/delayed GC00 -0.20%  futures added 40 cents, or 0.02%, to end at $1,813.80 an ounce.

<STRONG>William Watts contributed reporting</STRONG>

/zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 377.55
+3.32 +0.89%
Volume: 1.30M
July 29, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
6.90
Dividend Yield
2.12%
Market Cap
$127.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.31M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 377.55
+3.32 +0.89%
Volume: 1.30M
July 29, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
6.90
Dividend Yield
2.12%
Market Cap
$127.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.31M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 377.55
+3.32 +0.89%
Volume: 1.30M
July 29, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
6.90
Dividend Yield
2.12%
Market Cap
$127.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.31M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210453738/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 412.08
+2.91 +0.71%
Volume: 1.60M
July 29, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
27.21
Dividend Yield
1.41%
Market Cap
$386.13 billion
Rev. per Employee
$779,215
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 345.64
-3.68 -1.05%
Volume: 10.10M
July 29, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
275.63
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$140.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$617,996
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 3,599.92
-30.40 -0.84%
Volume: 5.52M
July 29, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
68.51
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1830.86 billion
Rev. per Employee
$297,430
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 142.24
+0.18 +0.13%
Volume: 3.69M
July 29, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
33.07
Dividend Yield
1.55%
Market Cap
$398.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
$243,109
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/219481362/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 32.66
-0.42 -1.27%
Volume: 333,944
July 29, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.99 billion
Rev. per Employee
$519,836
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
3,411.72
+50.13 +1.49%
Volume: 34.46B
July 29, 2021 3:01p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598128/delayed
XX : China Securities Index
4,850.27
+89.79 +1.89%
Volume: 17.33B
July 29, 2021 3:01p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
27,438.74
-343.68 -1.24%
Volume: 0.00
July 30, 2021 9:53a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
26,315.32
+841.44 +3.30%
Volume: 3.27M
July 29, 2021 4:08p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
463.84
+2.14 +0.46%
Volume: 0.00
July 29, 2021 11:03p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,078.42
+61.79 +0.88%
Volume: 739,635
July 29, 2021 4:47p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime
add Add to watchlist BX:TMUBMUSD10Y
BX : Tullett Prebon
1.25
-0.02 -1.53%
Volume: 0.00
July 29, 2021 9:13p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed
US : U.S.: ICE Futures U.S.
91.96
+0.09 +0.10%
Volume: 0.00
July 29, 2021 9:03p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed
US : U.S.: Nymex
$ 73.16
-0.46 -0.62%
Volume: 6,979
July 29, 2021 9:03p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210034565/delayed
US : U.S.: Nymex
$ 1,827.50
-3.70 -0.20%
Volume: 202.00
July 29, 2021 8:52p
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Sunny Oh is a MarketWatch fixed-income reporter based in New York. Joy Wiltermuth is a MarketWatch markets reporter and editor based in New York.

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