Stocks gained on Tuesday, tracking advances in global equities as investors prioritized stabilizing economic data over ongoing protests across the country, which spurred some concerns of a ramp-up in coronavirus cases even with U.S. casualties on the decline.
Big Tech firms and the tech-heavy Nasdaq pared some gains Tuesday after weeks of outperformance, with the Nasdaq just 2.7% below its recent all-time high from February 19 as of Monday’s close. Crude oil prices (CL=F) extended May’s sharp advance, settling at a three-month high of more than $36 per barrel.
Major benchmarks have been on a bull run since a grim selloff that began in February culminated in March, as the pandemic took hold in the United States. Since plunging to multi-year lows over 2 months ago, the S&P 500 Index is now up around 40% from the lows.
The current rally “is a head scratcher for many,” Michael Arone, State Street Global Advisors chief investment strategist, told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday.
“Investors are looking beyond the current environment and they’re looking at the fact that policymakers have put forward a firm commitment to do what it takes ...and they’re expecting recovery,” he added.
On the economic data front, an index of U.S. manufacturing activity released Monday morning rose for the first time since January, stoking hopes that worst of the downturn was over, even as the gauge remained lodged in contractionary territory.
Stocks ended Monday’s session higher despite the tensions across the country as demonstrators rallied against police brutality following the senseless killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by officers last week. President Donald Trump said in a press conference late Monday that he would deploy the U.S. military in cities and states that did not crack down enough on the unrest.
The protracted mass gatherings – many of which came alongside instances of looting, vandalism and destruction of retail outlets – led at least some analysts to speculate at the prospect of a re-escalation of Covid-19 cases, which could weigh on the economic recovery.
“The timing could not have been worse. All of a sudden we have 90% of the population in the U.S. in a phase-back state, and now you are trying to reopen the small businesses and the social unrest really derails the economic recovery,” Deepak Puri, Deutsche Bank Wealth Management Americas chief investment officer, told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.
“I don’t think this is going to be something that permanently hampers economic output,” but concerns are being raised, he added. Some elected officials shared similar worries.
"We're talking about reopening in one week in New York City, and now we're seeing these mass gatherings over the past several nights that could in fact exacerbate the COVID-19 spread," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said during a press conference Monday.
New York City extended a curfew first imposed last night through Sunday, with the new curfew now started at 8 p.m. New York City joined more than three dozen other cities across the nation that have instilled curfews in recent days, as officials tried to prevent further violence and property damage coming alongside some of the demonstrations.
In Minneapolis, where the protests began, curfews are set to remain in place for at least through Tuesday, though some members of the National Guard who had earlier been activated have been sent home, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said.
4:07 p.m. ET: Stocks end higher, Energy sector outperforms as crude oil prices settle at a three-month high
Here were the main moves in markets as of 4:07 p.m. ET:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +25.09 (+0.82%) to 3,080.82
Dow (^DJI): +267.63 (+1.05%) to 25,742.65
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +56.33 (+0.59%) to 9,608.38
Crude (CL=F): +$1.46 (+4.12%) to $36.90 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): -$15.10 (-0.86%) to $1,735.20 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1.8 bps to yield 0.6800%
2:43 p.m. ET: US crude oil prices settle at three-month high
July futures for West Texas intermediate crude oil settled higher by $1.37, or 3.9%, to $36.81 per barrel as of Tuesday afternoon, hitting a twelve-week high.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are nearing an agreement to extend production cuts for the oil market, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, helping ease concerns of a supply glut in a demand environment still anchored lower by the coronavirus outbreak.
12:45 p.m. ET: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo extends NYC curfew
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday during a press briefing that New York City’s curfew, initially instilled as a one-night event on Monday, would be extended through Sunday, in effort to have law enforcement be able to contend with looting and violence that has broken out in the area. The new curfew will begin at 8 p.m., Cuomo said.
9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks open higher
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 9:31 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +9.03 points (+0.3%) to 3,064.76
Dow (^DJI): +130.09 points (+0.51%) to 25,605.11
Nasdaq (^IXIC): -1.55 points (-0.02%) to 9,550.68
Crude (CL=F): +$0.18 (+0.51%) to $35.62 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): +$5.00 (+0.29%) to $1,755.30 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1 bp to yield 0.672%
7:20 a.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures climb
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:20 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,070.00, up 16 points (+0.52%)
Dow futures (YM=F): 25,617.00, up 154 points (+0.6%)
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 9,646.75, up 51.75 points (+0.54%)
Crude (CL=F): +$0.94 (+2.65%) to $36.38 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): +$0.60 (+0.03%) to $1,750.90 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1 bp to yield 0.672%
6:48 p.m. ET Monday: President Donald Trump says he will ‘deploy the United States military’ in cities, states that fail to deploy ‘sufficient’ response to protests
President Donald Trump said during a press conference Monday evening that he would deploy the U.S. military in cities and states he felt did not undertake enough of a response to quell the violence of recent days amid the protests.
“Today I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets. Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence, until the violence has been quelled,” Trump said. “If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”
6:06 p.m. ET Monday: Stock futures open little changed
Here were the main moves at the start of the overnight session for U.S. equity futures, as of 6:06 p.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,051.75, down 2.25 points (-0.07%)
Dow futures (YM=F): 25,443.00, down 20 points (-0.08%)
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 9,586.50, down 8.5 points (-0.09%)