(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks rose for a fourth day as investor optimism over the likelihood for a new spending bill and potential coronavirus vaccines outweighed concern about an escalation of tensions with China. The dollar weakened to the lowest level since March.
The S&P 500 jumped to a five-month high, with utilities, real estate and industrial shares leading the gains. Trump administration officials are said to be discussing a short-term extension of unemployment insurance before the benefits lapse. Futures had retreated overnight on news that the U.S. ordered China’s Houston consulate to quickly close. Shares of Microsoft Corp. slumped and Tesla Inc. surged after the companies released earnings following the close of regular trading.
“You are going to have that volatility, but people are looking through a lot of it,” said Victoria Fernandez, chief market strategist for Crossmark Global Investments. “People are doing that now for just about everything.”
Progress on combating the virus’s impact also contributed to sentiment. Pfizer Inc. shares rallied after saying the government ordered up to 600 million doses of its vaccine candidate against Covid-19. Treasuries were little changed, while silver continued its tear, climbing to the highest level in almost seven years.
Fresh Sino-U.S. tension including new charges of Chinese hacking had added to potential risks weighing on investors who recently drove global equities to a five-month high. After the success of a European rescue package this week, Senate Republicans and the Trump administration are struggling to reach consensus on another stimulus plan.
“I’m more concerned going into the August, September period: what’s going to then be the next catalyst to take the broader market higher,” Andrew Sheets, a cross-asset strategist at Morgan Stanley, said on Bloomberg TV. It’s going to be “a tougher period for stocks,” he said.
Earnings remained in focus. Texas Instruments Inc. dropped after urging caution. Snap Inc. tumbled following a miss on its user-growth targets.
Elsewhere, oil in New York dropped from a four-month high on signs of a surprise gain in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Here are some key events coming up:
Quarterly earnings gather steam, with reports due from Blackstone Group, Roche, Intel, Unilever, Canadian Pacific, Daimler, Hyundai and Mattel.U.S. weekly jobless claims come on Thursday.
These are the main moves in markets:
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