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Nasdaq hits record as Fed expands Main St. lending program and cities reopen

Jonathan Garber

The  Nasdaq Composite secured a record high Monday as investors remained optimistic over the reopening of the U.S. economy from COVID-19 lockdowns and as the Federal Reserve announced plans to enhance its Main Street lending program.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed at 9,924.75, up 1.1 percent, extending its annual gain to 10.6 percent.

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The S&P 500 rose 1.2 percent, turning fractionally positive for the year, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 461 points or 1.72 percent.

New York City entered phase one of its reopening plan on Monday, allowing construction and manufacturing to restart and retailers to open their doors for curbside and in-store pickups and drop-offs. Retailers and restaurants in Massachusetts also began reopenings.

Additionally, the Federal Reserve announced enhancements to its Main Street lending program to further aid small businesses.

Looking at stocks, airlines, cruise operators, booking sites and other travel-related names continued to shine as the reopening of America has yet to produce a feared second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Gun-related names surged as former Vice President Joe Biden secured enough delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination on Friday. Gun sales, which climbed to a record in May amid the COVID-19 lockdowns and riots, typically see a boost during election years amid concerns a new administration could bring increased regulatory measures.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca has approached rival Gilead Sciences about a potential merger that would be the largest health care deal of all-time, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The report said Gilead is not interested in selling itself or merging with another big pharmaceutical company.

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Meanwhile, Facebook shares underperformed after CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company would review its content policies. The social-media space has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks after Twitter recently labeled some of President Trump’s tweets.

Oil major BP announced plans to lay off 10,000 workers, or 14 percent of its global workforce, due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Chinese e-commerce company JD.com is planning a secondary listing in Hong Kong amid the threat foreign companies listed in the U.S. could face increased regulatory requirements. Elsewhere, Luckin Coffee Chairman Lu Zhengyao will likely to face criminal charges in China after authorities uncovered emails showing he instructed employees to commit fraud, according to state-run media company Caixin.

On the earnings front, recreation vehicle maker Thor Industries reported a surprise profit and revenue that topped expectations. The company said sales have improved since dealerships reopened last month from their COVID-19-related shutdowns.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil slipped 3.44 percent to $38.19 a barrel after OPEC and its allies on Sunday agreed to extend historic production cuts through July. Earlier in the session, WTI crossed $40 a barrel for the first time since March 9. Meanwhile, gold posted modest gains closing at $1,698 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys were little changed with the yield on the 10-year note at 0.883 percent.

European markets showed modest declines with Britain’s FTSE down fractionally by 0.18 percent, Germany’s DAX fell 0.22 percent and France’s CAC closed lower by 0.43 percent.

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In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei gained 1.37 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.24 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ticked up 0.03 percent.

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