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Stock market news live updates: Stocks hit six-week high as tech shares lead

Emily McCormick
·7 mins read

Stocks jumped Monday and closed at a six-week high as investors looked ahead to a round of quarterly corporate earnings results that are expected to have improved relative to earlier this year. Stimulus talks in Washington also remained in focus.

[Click here to read what’s moving markets heading into Tuesday, October 12]

The Nasdaq rose more than 2% and outperformed against the S&P 500 and Dow. Shares of Amazon (AMZN) jumped more than 4.5% a day before the start of the company’s annual Prime Day event, which typically brings in an influx of online shoppers eager to snap up promotions. Apple (AAPL) shares also gained more than 6% as analysts struck an increasingly bullish tone ahead of the company’s iPhone 12 launch event on Tuesday, for an upgrade announcement Dan Ives of WedBush said will likely be “Apple's most important product cycle since the iPhone 6 in 2014,” according to a note on Sunday.

Prospects for further fiscal stimulus from congressional lawmakers will remain a point of interest for traders, though the likelihood of measures getting passed before the election is slim. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to pick up further talks on a deal this week, though little tangible progress had been made as of last week and the last several months. Still, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow offered an upbeat assessment of talks between the White House and House Democrats on Sunday, saying “the bid and offer is narrowing somewhat between the two sides,” according to an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Third-quarter corporate earnings season begins in earnest this week with a host of big banks reporting results, including JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Citigroup (C) on Tuesday. The cohort, which has for the year to date sharply underperformed against the broader market, with changes in banks’ loan loss provisions and commentary around the health of their clients likely to shed light on the extent of the ongoing strain in the US economy.

Across earnings season as a whole, companies are expected to report another year-over-year decline in profits amid the ongoing pandemic, albeit at a margin narrower than in the second quarter. Consensus economists are looking for S&P 500 companies to post an aggregate earnings per share decline of 20.5% over last year, according to FactSet data as of Friday.

Earnings this quarter come at the junction of a number of potentially market-moving events, including the possibility of a vaccine breakthrough and uncertain results of the elections. These latter two events pose the potential to meaningfully alter fundamentals for S&P 500 companies, and shift the outlook that companies may report in their results, Goldman Sachs analysts noted.

“New information on the election, vaccines, and upcoming 3Q earnings represent substantial cross-currents for equities during the next two months,” Goldman Sachs analyst David Kostin said in a note. “However, the vaccine represents a more important factor than the election result for the recovery in S&P 500 fundamentals.”

4:03 p.m. ET: Stocks hit 6-week high as tech shares surge; Nasdaq gains 2.6%

Here were the main moves in markets as of 4:03 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +56.99 (+1.64%) to 3,534.12

  • Dow (^DJI): +250.62 (+0.88%) to 28,837.52

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +296.32 (+2.56%) to 11,876.26

  • Crude (CL=F): -$1.10 (-2.71%) to $39.50 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$1.90 (+0.10%) to $1,928.10 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +0.2 bps to yield 0.7770%

1:52 p.m. ET: Stocks extend gains, Dow adds 300+ points

The three major indices added to gains intraday on Monday, with each of S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq up more than 1%. The Nasdaq maintained its leadership as tech stocks climbed further.

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 1:52 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +65.45 points (+1.89%) to 3,542.98

  • Dow (^DJI): +315.08 points (+1.1%) to 28,901.98

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +339.42 points (+2.93%) to 11,919.24

  • Crude (CL=F): -$1.21 (-2.98%) to $39.39 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$2.60 (+0.13%) to $1,928.80 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1.2 bps to yield 0.779%

11:13 a.m. ET: Twitter shares jump as much as 6% to five-year high after Deutsche Bank upgrades stock to Buy

Twitter (TWTR) shares jumped as much as 6% Monday morning to as high as $48.65 per share, the highest level since April 2015, following a bullish call from Deutsche Bank.

The firm upgraded shares of the social media company to Buy from Hold and raised its price target to $56, indicating upside of 22% from Friday’s closing levels. The company is “well positioned to benefit from an event and a cyclical recovery,” Deutsche Bank analyst Lloyd Walmsley wrote in a research note.

“In our view, Twitter is well positioned to benefit from a big event landscape in 2021, expansion into more performance advertising on the back of its ad server rebuild and new MAP product, and an eventual high-margin subscription product,” Walmsley said. “We have been excited about the medium-term prospects for Twitter but unable to get more bullish given weak advertising channel feedback. We are now starting to hear more positive feedback in the ad channel and would take advantage of the opportunity to build a position now before a stronger ad recovery takes hold and we get into the period of 2021 excitement.”

10:40 a.m. ET: Snowflake shares jump after Oppenheimer initiates coverage with Overweight rating

Shares of cloud computing company Snowflake (SNOW) jumped after Wall Street firm Oppenheimer initiated coverage of the stock with a bullish Overweight rating and $300 price target, implying upside of 26% from Friday’s closing levels.

“Our bullish stance on Snowflake reflects: (1) favorable secular themes, including the growing importance/use of data/analytics to business success and operational improvement; (2) growing enterprise efforts to re-architect the data management plane and move to cloud-native platforms; (3) exposure to a large and growing data warehouse market; and (4) its ability to execute and leverage a successful land-and-expand model targeting large enterprises and driving usage expansion across new and existing customers,” the analysts, led by Ittai Kidron, said in a note Sunday.

Wall Street analysts have so far rated Snowflake with 9 Buy ratings and equivalents, 10 Holds and 1 Sell, according to Bloomberg data. Shares of the stock have more than doubled since Snowflake’s mid-September initial public offering.

9:32 a.m. ET: Stocks rise led by tech; Nasdaq outperforms

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 9:32 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +22.62 points (+0.65%) to 3,499.75

  • Dow (^DJI): +83.03 points (+0.29%) to 28,669.93

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +145.13 points (+1.25%) to 11,726.29

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.56 (-1.38%) to $40.04 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$1.90 (+0.1%) to $1,928.10 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1.2 bps to yield 0.779%

7:36 a.m. ET Monday: Stock futures point to a higher open

Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 7:36 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,489.75, up 16.5 points or 0.48%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 28,539.00, up 21 points or 0.07%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,887.00, up 162.25 points or 1.38%

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.50 (-1.23%) to $40.10 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$0.30 (0.02%) to $1,926.50 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1.2 bps to yield 0.779%

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange August 8, 2008. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES)
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange August 8, 2008. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES)

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