S&P 500 gains as investors await news on U.S. stimulus

by Jonathan Adams
Wall Street

The S&P 500 added 0.17%, to 3,923.19 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.16%, to 14,048.25

The S&P 500 rose higher on Friday, as financial and materials stocks advanced while investors looked for progress on U.S. stimulus.

Value stocks outperformed large-cap growth stocks as investors opted for names that are likely to benefit from a reopened economy.

The main stock indexes had opened lower, weighed down by heavyweights Apple Inc, Tesla Inc and Amazon.com Inc. The major averages are still headed for their second consecutive weekly gain.

U.S.-based stock funds attracted $22.9 billion in the week to Wednesday, the largest weekly inflow since March 2008, according to the Lipper data late on Thursday.

U.S. stock markets are closed on Monday for the Presidents’ day holiday.

Most of these selloffs have proven just to be some profit taking only to see the market come back from any near-term selloff, said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.

Low interest rate, stimulus and improvement on the virus front providing greater confidence for investors to stay in the market and buy more, he said.

Despite the possibility for additional fiscal stimulus, U.S. consumer sentiment fell in early February, according to the latest data.

A Reuters poll showed the U.S. economy is expected to reach pre-COVID-19 levels within a year as the proposed $1.9 trillion fiscal package helps boost economic activity.

U.S. President Joe Biden will meet with a bipartisan group of mayors and governors on Friday amid efforts to push for the approval of his relief plan.

Bank stocks liked to the economy were 1.3% higher, while energy, materials and industrials rose between 0.7% and 0.8%.

The small-cap index was set to rise for the fifth week out of six full weeks this year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 5.54 points, or 0.02%, to 31,425.16, the S&P 500 added 6.81 points, or 0.17%, to 3,923.19 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 22.48 points, or 0.16%, to 14,048.25.

PayPal Holdings Inc gained nearly 3.8% amid rise in price targets on the stock following the company’s investor day call.

Walt Disney Co reported a surprise quarterly profit. However, its shares fell 1.5% from a record high after a more than 13% run up to its results over the last two weeks.

Dating app operator Bumble Inc advanced 13%, after its shares rose more than 75% following a stellar debut.

Shares in Tilray Inc and Aphria Inc added 4% and 6% respectively after nearly halving in value in the prior session.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.3-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.4-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

This article is for information purposes only.
Please remember that financial investments may rise or fall and past performance does not guarantee future performance in respect of income or capital growth; you may not get back the amount you invested.
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