USA stocks open higher. S&P index trades to a new record high

Daniel Fowler
January 26, 2021

US President Joe Biden revealed last week a huge $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, and stressed that he would continue to work to provide fiscal aid to families and businesses.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent at 3,858.94, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.1 per cent to 13,618.13. "So if you do pull the rug out from stimulus plans, that might be a problem, but they aren't going to do that".

The so-called "stay-at-home" winners including Microsoft Corp, Facebook Inc and Apple Inc rose between 1.7% and 4.3%, following upbeat results from Netflix Inc last week.

The S&P index recorded 26 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 285 new highs and four new lows.

Tuesday's main focus will be earnings from large companies like General Electric, which moved higher after publishing its quarterly figures, and Johnson & Johnson, which was also in the green after topping expectations.

Other areas of the market were softer, though, and the majority of stocks on Wall Street fell amid concerns about the still-raging pandemic, delayed COVID-19 vaccine rollouts in some places and Washington's ability to deliver stimulus to blunt the resulting economic pain.

Coronavirus: 23 further deaths and 1,378 new cases in Ireland
Respondents also said they believed there would be a united Ireland within 10 years, by a margin of 48% to 44%. Lucidtalk polled 2,392 people in Northern Ireland aged 16 and over between January 15 and 18.

Earlier on Monday, drugmaker Merck & Co said it would stop development of its two COVID-19 vaccines. The drugmaker's shares fell 0.5%.

Traders noted that the jump in shares could be short-sellers quickly buying back into the stock to cover potential losses and retail investors piling in to benefit from the surge.

Sectors that have performed well on hopes for an economic rebound, such as financials, energy and materials, led declines on Monday, while defensive utilities, consumer staples and real estate outperformed. Weakness in financial names such as Goldman Sachs and American Express served to keep the price-weighted Dow in negative territory.

S&P 500 rose 0.3% or 14 point to 3,855 points, after hitting a day high of 3,859 and a low of 3,797 points.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.5-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.3-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

Gold prices regained five dollars to $1,861.20 ounce.

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