Stocks jump on coronavirus vaccine hopes, Trump’s infrastructure plan

Goldman Sachs saw record-breaking performance from its investment bank

U.S. equity markets rose on Wednesday in a volatile session after reports that China is readying sanctions in retaliation for actions by the Trump administration.

Still, positive news on the race for a coronavirus vaccine combined with strong results from Goldman Sachs and progress on the U.S. infrastructure front helped secure gains.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34168.09 -129.64 -0.38%
SP500 S&P 500 4349.93 -6.52 -0.15%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13542.118929 +2.82 +0.02%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 228 points, or 0.86 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.91 percent and 0.59 percent, respectively. All three of the major averages closed off their best levels of the session.

President Trump, in the final hour of trading, delivered remarks on infrastructure and plans to improve the nation's interstates among other projects. The news sent S&P industrial stocks higher.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XLI INDUSTRIAL SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF 99.90 -0.88 -0.87%
CAT CATERPILLAR INC. 214.29 -0.02 -0.01%

In drug news, the experimental COVID-19 vaccine, under development by Moderna, produced “binding anitbodies” in all 45 patients during a Phase 1 trial, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MRNA MODERNA INC. 154.96 +2.42 +1.59%

The optimistic results boosted shares of companies in some of the sectors hardest hit by COVID-19, including airlines, casino operators and hotels.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 38.76 +0.04 +0.10%
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 16.24 -0.22 -1.34%
MAR MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL INC. 158.73 +1.70 +1.08%
LVS LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP. 44.12 -0.75 -1.67%
MGM MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL 41.68 -0.30 -0.71%

The upbeat sentiment got another boost from the New York Federal Reserve's manufacturing survey, which showed industrial production rose 5.4 percent in June, the biggest increase since December 1959.

Looking at earnings, Goldman Sachs reported profit and revenue that exceeded Wall Street estimates after a record-breaking quarter in its investment bank division and the firm’s strongest trading performance in nine years.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GS THE GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC. 342.68 +1.13 +0.33%
UNH UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC. 458.43 +1.59 +0.35%

UnitedHealth posted better-than-expected results, benefitting from lower payouts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elsewhere, Apple scored a major victory after the European Union’s second-highest court ruled the tech giant would not have to pay the 13 billion euros ($14.8 billion) tax bill that EU antitrust officials said was owed to Ireland.

Google announced a $4.5 billion investment, good for a 7.73 percent stake, in India-based telecommunications network Jio Platforms. Rival Facebook purchased a 9.99 percent stake in the company earlier this year.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAPL APPLE INC. 159.69 -0.09 -0.06%
GOOGL ALPHABET INC. 2,584.66 +45.96 +1.81%

West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed 91 cents to $41.20 per barrel, while gold ticked up $80 cents to $1,811.40 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys were little changed, with the yield on the 10-year note at 0.629 percent.

In Europe, France’s CAC paced the advance, up 2.03 percent, while Germany’s DAX and Britain's FTSE were higher by 1.84 percent and 1.83 percent, respectively.

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Asian markets finished mixed with Japan’s Nikkei surging 1.59 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edging higher by 0.01 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite sliding 1.56 percent.