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Stocks climb giving Nasdaq 20th record close of 2020

Jonathan Garber

U.S. equity markets rallied on Monday despite a surge in global COVID-19 cases and as New York City began Phase 2 of its reopening plan.

The Nasdaq turned in its 20th record close of the year powered by fresh records in Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.

Intel also rose even though Apple announced plans to use its own chips in Macs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained over 152 points or 0.59 percent, while the S&P 500 rose 0.66 percent.

The World Health Organization announced more than 183,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, the biggest single-day total since the outbreak began.

The U.S. on Saturday recorded 31,963 new cases, its largest one-day new case count since May 1. While the number of new cases has been rising, the number of deaths and hospitalizations have not yet seen spikes of similar magnitudes.

New York City entered Phase 2 of its reopening plan on Monday, possibly sending 300,000 laborers back to work as outdoor dining, in-store retail and barbershops and salons are allowed to open their doors.

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Looking at stocks, American Airlines announced plans to raise $1.5 billion through the sale of stock and notes as the air carrier aims to bolster its balance sheet. Meanwhile, rival United Airlines is considering a $5 billion debt sale, according to Bloomberg.

Virgin Galactic and NASA reached an agreement to encourage commercial participation of astronaut missions to the International Space Station.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a tentative date of Sept. 15 for the electric-vehicle maker’s shareholder meeting at Battery Day.

China’s customs agency has reportedly suspended chicken purchases from a Tyson Foods plant in Springdale, Arkansas, after hundreds of workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Commodities were firm with West Texas Intermediate crude oil up 71 cents at $40.46 a barrel while gold reached a 7.5-year high of $1,759.30 an ounce.

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U.S. Treasurys were modestly higher, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down to 0.704 percent.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE paced the decline, down 0.76 percent, while Germany’s DAX and France's CAC were weaker by 0.55 percent and 0.62 percent, respectively.

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Markets were lower across Asia, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng losing 0.54 percent, Japan’s Nikkei falling 0.18 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite slipping 0.08 percent.

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