US stocks gain as rally is extended

New York, Feb 5: Wall Street stocks, led by technology companies, rose again Monday amid continued positive sentiment on US monetary policy and the prospects for a US-China trade deal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7 percent to end the week's opening session at 25,239.37.

The broad-based S&P 500 also advanced 0.7 percent to close at 2,724.87, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.2 percent to 7,347.54.

“The market has certainly found the path of least resistance higher,” chief market strategist at National Securities, Art Hogan, said of the market's drift upward in the wake of a blowout January.

Key drivers for the rally include reassurances from the Federal Reserve of a cautious approach to further interest rate hikes, positive commentary by Beijing and Washington on trade talks, and a solid earnings season, Hogan said.

Most large tech companies rose, including Apple, Facebook and Microsoft, all of which gained more than two percent.

Key earnings this week include Google-parent Alphabet, Disney and General Motors, while the economic calendar includes the monthly Institute for Supply Management survey on the services sector, and the delayed US trade balance for November, held up due to the five-week-long government shutdown.

Among individual companies, Clorox jumped 5.7 percent following earnings and revenue figures that topped analyst expectations.

Battery-technology company Maxwell Technologies shot up 49.5 percent after announcing it had agreed to be acquired by Tesla Motors for about $218 million in stock. Tesla added 0.2 percent.

Papa John's surged 9.0 percent after announcing that activist investor Starboard Value would invest $200 million in the company and install two Starboard-affiliated directors, including Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith as chairman.

 

(AFP/APP)

Posted on: 2019-02-05T12:45:00+05:00

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