Tech leads Wall Street higher as virus fears rise

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Friday, led by technology-related stocks, but were still on track for their longest weekly losing streak in a year as fears about the coronavirus’ impact on the economy dented investor sentiment.

FILE PHOTO: Traders wearing masks work, on the first day of in person trading since the closure during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Shares of tech mega-caps including Facebook Inc FB.O, Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O, Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O, Apple Inc AAPL.O and Netflix Inc NFLX.O, which tend to outperform during economic uncertainty, climbed between 0.5% and 2.3%.

The information technology index .SPLRCT jumped another 1.4% as investors ditched value-linked stocks .IVX on signs of a slowdown in the broader economic recovery.

All the three major U.S. stock indexes were on course for their fourth straight week of declines – their longest weekly losing streak since August 2019.

Volatility .VIX has also shot up as investors looked for clarity on more Congressional stimulus ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

“You’ve had this nice recovery through the summer, and coming into the fall, the economy is just a little bit more vulnerable, particularly with a lot of the stimulus that we had starting to taper off now,” said Mike Dowdall, portfolio manager at BMO Global Asset Management in Chicago.

At 1:03 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 107.27 points, or 0.40%, at 26,922.71, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 22.08 points, or 0.68%, at 3,268.67, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 135.07 points, or 1.27%, at 10,807.34.

The S&P industrials sector .SPLRCI added 0.9% as data showed new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods jumped in August, while a 1.1% slide in energy stocks .SPNY put them on course for one of their worst weeks since the coronavirus-driven crash in March.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd RCL.N, Norwegian Cruise Line NCLH.N and Carnival Corp CCL.N jumped more than 6% after a report said Barclays upgraded their stock to “overweight”.

Boeing Co BA.N gained 4.3% after Europe’s chief aviation safety regulator said the planemaker’s grounded 737 MAX could receive regulatory approval to resume flying in November and enter service by the end of the year.

Costco Wholesale Corp COST.O fell 1.9% as the warehouse chain recorded high coronavirus-related costs for the second straight quarter.

Novavax Inc NVAX.O jumped 10.6% after the drugmaker launched a late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the UK.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1.49-to-1 on the NYSE and 2.31-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 15 new highs and 35 new lows.

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