(Reuters) – Wall Street’s major indexes rose on Thursday, boosted by gains in healthcare and technology stocks, as investors bet on a swift recovery from a coronavirus-driven economic slump.
The Dow Jones index got a lift from a 3.1% rise in Boeing Co shares after the planemaker said it had resumed production of its 737 MAX passenger jet at its Washington plant, although at a “low rate”.
Healthcare and technology sectors rose 2.1% and 1.4%, respectively, topping the major S&P indexes trading higher.
The S&P 500 has soared about 38% from its low hit in March as a restart in business activity after weeks of shutdown and massive amounts of stimulus measures to support the economy drove hopes of a recovery.
The benchmark index is now about 10% below its Feb. 19 record high.
“The market believes the worst economic conditions resulting from the coronavirus are behind us,” said Tim Shaler, chief economist for iTrustCapital in Newport Beach, California.
The Labor Department’s latest data showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits held above 2 million for a 10th straight week, though jobless claims have declined steadily since hitting a record high in mid-March.
However, worsening ties between the United States and China in recent weeks along with fears of a second wave of coronavirus infection pose a threat to stock market’s strong recovery from the crash earlier this year, according to analysts.
Investors are also keeping a close watch on Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc ahead of an expected order from President Donald Trump that would review a law that has long protected the internet companies from being responsible for the material posted by their users.
Twitter shares were down 2.8%, while Facebook pared losses to trade up 0.8%.
At 12:52 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 179.92 points, or 0.70%, at 25,728.19, the S&P 500 was up 28.02 points, or 0.92%, at 3,064.15. The Nasdaq Composite was up 97.27 points, or 1.03%, at 9,509.63.
Bank stocks lagged after surging about 15% in the past two sessions.
Memory chipmaker Micron Technology Inc dropped 3.2%, despite raising its revenue forecast for the third quarter.
Discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc jumped 11.3% after reporting better-than-expected quarterly sales and profit as consumers stockpiled on groceries and other essentials due to novel coronavirus pandemic.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.60-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.30-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 15 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 59 new highs and six new lows.
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