BUSINESS US stocks close strongly as COVID sentiment shifts

BUSINESS

US stocks close strongly as COVID sentiment shifts

AFP

06:41, August 24, 2021

Wall Street recovered from last week's doldrums to finish strong on Monday as some positive news seemed to dispel fears the spreading Covid-19 Delta variant would derail the recovery.

[Photo/Agencies]

Stronger-than-expected home sales data as well as full regulatory approval of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine boosted the positive sentiment.

Continuing Friday's bounceback, benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.6 percent to end at 35,335.71, while the broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent to 4,479.53.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index scored a new record, jumping 1.6 percent to finish at 14,942.65.

US home sales rose two percent in July, according to the data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which also reported a slight increase in supply that could help ease the frenzied buying atmosphere.

Attention this week will be focused on Friday's speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at the annual Jackson Hole central banking symposium, where he could provide details on plans to pull back on the bank's massive stimulus efforts.

The Fed has signaled that it expects to start the process of tapering bond buying by the end of the year, but the announcement still has the potential to roil markets worried that a hike in the benchmark lending rate could soon follow.

San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said Monday that the economic recovery has enough momentum to allow it to withstand the growing number of infections from the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

In an interview with Fox Business Network, she said she is "confident that we will by the end of the year" have made sufficient progress to allow the central bank to start "dialing back" stimulus.

After US regulators granted the full approval for their vaccine, Pfizer rose 2.5 percent, and BioNTech surged 9.6 percent.

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