Tech leads Wall Street higher as virus fears grow

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Friday, led by technology-related stocks, but were still set for their longest weekly losing streak in a year as fears about the coronavirus’ impact on the economy weighed on investor sentiment.

FILE PHOTO: Traders wearing masks work, on the first day of in person trading since the closure during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Shares of tech mega-caps including Facebook Inc FB.O, Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O, Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O, Apple Inc AAPL.O and Netflix Inc NFLX.O, which are perceived as relatively safe assets at a time of economic uncertainty, climbed between 0.4% and 1.9%.

The information technology index .SPLRCT jumped another 1.2% after outperforming for most of the week as investors ditched value-linked stocks .IVX in the face of deteriorating economic data.

“We’ve been down for a number of days and the market is such that it’s looking for opportunities to buy,” said Barry James, portfolio manager at James Investment Research in Ohio.

All the three major U.S. stock indexes are on course for their fourth straight week of declines – their longest weekly losing streak since August 2019.

Volatility .VIX has also shot up as investors look for clarity on more Congressional stimulus ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

At 11:40 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 97.00 points, or 0.36%, at 26,912.44, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 19.02 points, or 0.59%, at 3,265.61, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 116.18 points, or 1.09%, at 10,788.44.

The S&P industrials sector .SPLRCI added 0.8% as data showed new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods jumped in August, while a 0.7% slide in energy stocks .SPNY put them on course for one of their worst weeks since the coronavirus-driven crash in March.

Royal Caribbean RCL.N, Norwegian Cruise Line NCLH.N and Carnival Corp CCL.N jumped more than 5% after a report that Barclays upgraded their stock to “overweight”.

Costco Wholesale Corp COST.O fell 2.6% as the warehouse chain recorded high coronavirus-related costs for the second straight quarter.

Boeing Co BA.N gained 3.6% after Europe’s chief aviation safety regulator said the planemaker’s grounded 737 MAX could receive regulatory approval to resume flying in November and enter service by the end of the year.

Novavax Inc NVAX.O jumped 11.3% after the drugmaker launched a late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the UK.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1.29-to-1 on the NYSE and 2.09-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and 30 new lows.

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