Stocks jump, Nasdaq resumes record run

Apple, Amazon and Netflix climb to fresh records

U.S. equity markets rallied across the board Wednesday with the Nasdaq leading the gains and registering its 25th record close of the year.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX10913.561787+241.30+2.26%
AAPLAPPLE INC.112.28+4.06+3.75%
AMZNAMAZON.COM INC.3,095.13+75.34+2.49%
NFLXNETFLIX INC.482.88+9.80+2.07%

Apple, Amazon and Netflix all hitfresh records, helping drive the gains for the tech-heavy composite which has turned in its five-day start of the second half of a year since 2003.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 177 points, or 0.68 percent, and the S&P 500 gained 0.78 percent.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES27173.96+358.52+1.34%
SP500S&P 5003298.46+51.87+1.60%

Along with tech, financials and consumer discretionary stocks were among the top performers.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
XLKTECHNOLOGY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF113.94+2.66+2.39%
XLFFINANCIAL SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF23.49+0.24+1.03%
XLYCONSUMER DISCRETIONARY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF143.92+1.85+1.30%

Stocks rallied despite more concerning data on COVID-19 cases. The total number of infections in the U.S. crossed the 3 million on Wednesday as the number of new cases each day again topped 50,000. Deaths, meanwhile, which were hovering near their lowest level since March, spiked by 658 on Tuesday to 902, the highest since June 9. Data released over the past few days may have been impacted by reporting irregularities due to the holiday.

Looking at stocks, prescription drugmaker Biogen Inc. completed the submission of a Biologics License Application for its experimental Alzheimer’s treatment aducanumab. If approved, the drug would become the first to combat the disease.

Walgreens Boot Alliance Inc. announced a partnership with VillageMD that will open up to 700 doctor offices at its pharmacies over the next five years.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BIIBBIOGEN INC.273.28+3.24+1.20%
WBAWALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE INC.35.43+0.40+1.14%

Allstate Corp. reached an agreement to buy insurance provider National General Holdings for almost $4 billion, or $32 a share plus a closing dividend of $2.50 for each share held.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
ALLTHE ALLSTATE CORPORATION91.28+1.30+1.44%
NGHCNATIONAL GENERAL HLDGS CO33.88-0.03-0.07%

Movie-theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. is nearing a restructuring deal that would help stave off bankruptcy, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company was forced to close over 1,000 theaters around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the earnings front, apparel-maker Levi Strauss & Co. announced plans to eliminate more than 700 jobs as COVID-19 led to a 62 percent plunge in quarterly sales.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AMCAMC ENTERTAINMENT HOLDINGS INC4.88+0.27+5.86%
LEVILEVI STRAUSS & CO.12.92+0.05+0.39%

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil saw modest gains, rising to $40.90 a barrel and gold was higher by 0.69 percent at $1,815.50  an ounce. Gold has been on a tear, and is trading at highest level since September 2011.

U.S. Treasurys were little changed, with the yield on the 10-year note holding around 0.652 percent.

European markets were trading lower with France’s CAC down 1.24 percent while Germany’s DAX and Britain’s FTSE were weaker by 0.97 percent and 0.55 percent, respectively.

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In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite surged 1.74 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.59 percent and Japan’s Nikkei slid 0.78 percent.