Stock sell-off halts, Wall Street finishes sharply higher

by Jonathan Adams

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.60%, while the S&P 500 gained 2.01%, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 2.71%

Wall Street stocks closed sharply higher on Wednesday, putting a halt to a sell-off started late last week that ended with the Nasdaq entering correction territory.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.60% at 27,940.47, while the S&P 500 was 2.01% firmer at 3,398.96 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 2.71% stronger at 11,141.56.

The Dow closed 439.58 points higher on Wednesday, a marked turnaround from the beating taken by major indices in the previous session as stocks put on their worst performance since March.

Wednesday’s positive moves came despite news that AstraZeneca’s late-stage trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate had been paused as a result of a suspected serious adverse reaction in a participant.

Also in focus, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden proposed a new offshoring penalty that would lead to a 28% corporate tax rate, plus a 10% “offshoring penalty surtax” on profits made by a US company overseas for sales back to the US. He also called for a 10% tax credit for companies that make investments that create jobs for American workers and a 21% minimum tax on all foreign earnings.

Elsewhere, the number of job openings across the US increased 4.5% to 6.6m as of 31 July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but new hires decreased 4.1% to 5.8m despite a resumption of economic activity following Covid-19-related shutdown efforts aimed at containing the coronavirus.

In corporate news, Tiffany shares slumped after Louis Vuitton parent LVMH announced that it would not complete its takeover of the jeweller, while UPS shares were higher after announcing that it would hire 100,000 seasonal employees in the lead up to Christmas.

Walmart shares also advanced after revealing it would test a drone-based delivery programme.

This article is for information purposes only.
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