James Denaro monitors stock prices at the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (Photo: AP)
Stocks rose solidly in midday trading Wednesday as investors regained an appetite for risk after two days of heavy losses.
The sharp drops, which wiped out the market’s gains for the year, were brought on by worries over economic fallout from the virus outbreak that originated in China.
The virus continues to spread and threatens to hurt industrial production, consumer spending, and travel. More cases are being reported in Europe and the Middle East. Health officials in the US have been warning Americans to prepare for the virus.
Investors are setting aside some of their concerns for the time being and bid up technology stocks. Microsoft rose 1.5% and Adobe rose 1.8%. The tech sector was among the worst hit by sell-offs this week as many of the companies rely on global sales and supply chains that could be stifled by the spreading outbreak.
Health care companies also climbed. Pfizer rose 2.6%.
Bond prices fell and pushed yields higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.34% from 1.33% late Tuesday.
TJX, the parent of retailer TJ Maxx, surged 8.2% after beating Wall Street’s fourth-quarter profit forecasts and raising its dividend.
Utilities and real estate companies lagged the market in another sign that investors were shifting away from safe-play stocks.