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Stock Market News for Sep 3, 2020

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Wall Street closed sharply higher on Wednesday despite mixed economic data. Investors' sentiments were boosted by the advancement for the treatments of COVID-19 and progress in Congressional negotiations for a new round of fiscal stimulus. All the three major stock indexes ended in the green.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) surged 1.6% or 454.84 points to close at 29,100.50, marking 2-day winning run. Notably, 28 components of the 30-stock index ended in the green while 2 finished in red. The was the blue-chip index's best daily performance since Jul 14 and first close above 29,000 since Feb 20. The Dow is 1.5% away for its all-time high of 29,551.42, recorded on Feb 12.

The largest gainer of the Dow Index was The Coca-Cola Co. (KO - Free Report) that rallied 4.2% to close at $51.19. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The S&P 500 climbed 1.5% to end at 3,580.84, marking its 22nd record close year to date. In the intra-day session, the broad-market index recorded an all-time high of 3,588.11, its 27th all-time high so far this year. The S&P 500 scored its best daily performance since Jul 6. Notably, yesterday, the index posted the best Sep 1 since 2010.

The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU), the Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB),  the Real Estate Select Sector SPDR (XLRE), the Communication Services Select Sector SPDR (XLC) and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) rallied 3.1%, 2.3%, 2.2%, 2.1% and 2%, respectively. Notably, ten out of  eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in positive territory while one in negative territory.

Meanwhile, the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite ended in positive territory to close at 12,056.44, advancing 1% or 116.78 points, reflecting its first-ever reach to 12,000. This marked its 42nd closing high this year so far. In the intra-day session, the tech-heavy index recorded an all-time high of 12,074.06, marking its 48th all-time high year to date.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) up 1.7% to 26.57. A total of 9.85 billion shares were traded on Wednesday, higher than the last 20-session average of 9.12 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.91-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.56-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.

Progress For the Treatment of COVID-19

On Sep 2, leading infectious disease health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the vaccine for coronavirus is likely to come by the end of this year. He said preliminary clinical trial results provided by several drug makers and institutions have already given sufficient positive data. The FDA's decision to issue an emergency authorization for use in certain groups before the end of final-stage trials is a major driver in this regard.

Positive News on Fresh Fiscal Stimulus

On Sep 1, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that the White House and Senate Republicans are likely to introduce a new $1.3 trillion coronavirus relief bill next week. On Sep 2, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reopened negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the stalled coronavirus aid program.

Moreover, on Sep 1, in a major development, the Trump administration issued an eviction moratorium. Through the moratorium, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will invoke its authority to halt evictions through the end of the year in an effort to slow the spread of the pandemic. This will stop nearly 40 million U.S. renters from being thrown out of their rental homes.

Economic Data

Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP - Free Report) in association with Moody’s Analytics reported that private sector payrolls came in at 428,000 in August compared with an upwardly revised 212,000 in July. However, the consensus estimate was 1.17 million.

Large-sized, mid-sized and small-sized companies added 298,000, 79,000 and 52,000 employees, respectively. Service providers and goods producers added 389,000 and 40,000 jobs, respectively. Leisure and hospitality, education and health services, professional and business services, construction and manufacturing injected 129,000, 100,000, 66,000, 28,000 and 9,000 fresh workers in the economy.

Factory orders (consist of factory made durable and non-durable goods) in July increased 6.4% remained flat with June. The consensus estimate was for a rise of 5.6%. Domestic vehicles sales were 11.9 million units in August compared with 11.2 million units in July. Total vehicles sales increased to 15.2 million units in August compared with an upwardly revised 14.6 million units in July. The consensus estimate was 14.8 million units.

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