US May 24
The S&P 500 closed higher, as tech continued its rebound and reopening stocks rallied amid easing pandemic restrictions as Covid-19 cases in the U.S. hit their lowest since the pandemic began.
The S&P 500 rose 0.99%, and now is just less than 1% below its closing high of $4,232.60. Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.55%, or 187 points, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.4%.
The reopening trade - bullish bets on stocks tied to the progress of the economic reopening – underpinned by further progress on the reopening and signs the vaccine rollout is slowing cases.
President Joe Biden is set to sign a bill, which was passed in the Senate last week, that will allow cruise lines to resume operations in Alaska.
Carnival (NYSE:CCL) rose nearly 2.7%, Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) was up 3.7% and Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH) closed 4.7% higher. Other reopening stocks including MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) and American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) were also higher.
Also contributing to positive sentiment on the reopening, New York City will allow all public school children to return to in-school learning in September.
Energy, meanwhile, was boosted by oil prices even as an Iran nuclear deal draws closer, which experts say could result in global crude supply increasing by up to 2 million barrels per day. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) forecasts Brent prices could reach $80 a barrel by the fourth quarter.
Tech, which snapped a five-week losing streak on Friday, was pushed higher by semis as chip demand is expected to remain intact in the midst of the supply shortage.
The iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ:SOXX) closed up more than 2%, with NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) among the biggest gainers.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) were up more than 1%.
The Epic versus Apple battle entered its final day in court, with Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers (NYSE:ROG) expected to deliver a ruling - on Epic’s claim that Apple's App Store practices are anti-completive – in the coming months.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), meanwhile, was also in demand, rising more than 5% after Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) initiated coverage on the stock with an equal-weight rating and $590 price target, citing better expectations for deliveries.
Investors appear to be warming up to the narrative that the rapid pace of inflation will prove to be transitory, helping to ease fears the Federal Reserve will be forced to rein in its loose monetary policy measures sooner than many expect.
Broader sentiment on risk was also helped by a sharp rebound in cryptocurrencies following another selloff this weekend. Crypto-related names including MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR), Square (NYSE:SQ), and PayPal Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) were also higher.
Some, however, cautioned that the wild ride in stocks seen in recent weeks will continue.
"We continue to advise a bit of caution over the short-run, as we expect further choppiness while the stock markets continue on through their current consolidation cycle (begun back in late-February, 2021)," said Mark Luschini, Chief Investment Strategy at Janney Montgomery Scott.
In other news, Virgin Galactic Holdings (NYSE:SPCE) surged 27.8% after completing its maiden spaceflight test over the weekend.
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