BUSINESS US stocks up as strong tech earnings offset stimulus fog

BUSINESS

US stocks up as strong tech earnings offset stimulus fog

AFP

21:56, July 31, 2020

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File photo: Agencies

Wall Street stocks opened higher Friday following blowout earnings by large technology companies and as the market monitored messy Washington talks on another relief spending package.

About 10 minutes into trading, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index led the market, rising 0.8 percent to 10.674.56. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1 percent to 26,345.83, while the broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.3 percent to 3,255.84.

Tech giants Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Facebook all reported better-than-expected results after the market closed Thursday, validating surging valuations built on expectations the sector would be a big winner amid the pandemic upheaval.

Analysts had questioned whether tech shares could still go higher after the results came in, but Amazon, Apple and Facebook all won big gains early Friday, while Google-parent Alphabet fell.

The tech results boosted sentiment even amid anxiety over a partisan fight in Washington over the scope of another fiscal package to support the coronavirus-battered US economy.

Supplemental unemployment benefits provided in the CARES Act expire Friday but Republicans and Democrats remain far apart on what should come next and the Republican-controlled Senate adjourned for the weekend.

Other earnings were mixed, with oil giant Chevron falling 3.6 percent following a big loss and drugmaker Merck advancing 2.8 percent.

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