The Nasdaq hit a record high on Tuesday and the S&P 500 posted its biggest one-day gain in about six months as fears of a heavy economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak waned after China’s central bank intervened.
The Dow notched its biggest single-day rise in more than five months, as the stock market recovered from steep losses in the prior week. In Canada, the S&P/TSX Composite Index also rose, but more modestly, closing up 132.97 points, or 0.77 per cent, at 17,512.73.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) injected a total of 1.7 trillion yuan ($242.74 billion) through reverse repos on Monday and Tuesday, as the central bank said it sought to stabilize financial market expectations and restore market confidence.
The stimulus boosted investor sentiment even as fallout from the coronavirus from China is expected to deliver a short, sharp blow to both Chinese and global economic activity in the first quarter.
“The market is just looking beyond coronavirus and they are cheering” China’s financial actions, said Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist with Ally Invest.
“What history has shown us is anytime there is any sort of epidemic or some global threat from a virus standpoint, what we have seen is that the market will bottom,” Bell said. “Everybody is just looking past that, even though the market didn’t move that much lower on the news, at least here in the U.S.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 407.82 points, or 1.44%, to 28,807.63, the S&P 500 gained 48.67 points, or 1.50%, to 3,297.59 and the Nasdaq Composite added 194.57 points, or 2.1%, to 9,467.97.
Data showed new orders for U.S.-made goods increased by the most in nearly 1-1/2 years in December, flattered by robust demand for defense aircraft.
Technology shares led gains among the S&P 500 sectors, rising 2.6%. Shares of chip companies, which are particularly exposed to China, surged, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index up 3.1%.
Shares of Alphabet Inc fell 2.5%, after the Google parent posted its first holiday-quarter revenue miss in five years.
Fourth-quarter earnings season is roughly halfway done, with S&P 500 companies expected to have increased earnings by 1.6% in the period, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. However, earnings in 2020 are expected to rise 8.7%.
“Though the Q4 earnings do feel somewhat underwhelming, they are consistent with the market view that they will grow from here,” said Nela Richardson, investment strategist at Edward Jones.
Investors were also keeping an eye on the U.S. Democratic presidential nominating race, where technical problems delayed the Iowa caucus results. Results are expected at 5 p.m. ET.
In company news, shares of Tesla Inc surged 13.7%, extending a stunning rally for the electric vehicle maker’s stock.
Shares of eBay jumped 8.8% after a Wall Street Journal report that New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange has made a takeover offer for the company.
Ralph Lauren Corp shares rose 9.2% after the company’s results.
The TSX enjoyed a broad-based rally with eight of its 11 major sectors gaining. It was led by health care, technology and industrials.
Health care rose 2.4 per cent with Aurora Cannabis Inc. shares gaining 6.5 per cent. Tilray Inc. also confirmed that it was laying off 10 per cent of its workforce to cut costs.
Technology was up 1.9 per cent with Shopify Inc. gaining 3.4 per cent. Technology was very strong in the U.S. despite Alphabet Inc. dropping on weak quarterly results as Tesla shares soared nearly 14 per cent after hitting a record high.
Industrials was up with shares of Bombardier Inc. gaining nearly 18 per cent following a Wall Street Journal report that it was in talks with Cessna jets maker Textron Inc. to sell its business jet operations.
Toronto-Dominion and the Royal Bank gained 1.75 and 1.7 per cent respectively to push the heavyweight financials sector higher on renewed confidence from the liquidity infusion and the sector’s relatively cheap share prices.
Energy rose despite crude oil prices falling below the US$50 per barrel threshold on ongoing concerns about demand from China.
The March crude contract was down 50 cents at US$49.61 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was up 5.3 cents at US$1.87 per mmBTU.
“Investors are waiting to see what additional measures OPEC plus Russia are going to take on the supply side to help offset some of the demand destruction due to the coronavirus out of China,” said Jerusalim.
Materials and utilities were lower with Eldorado Gold shares losing more than nine per cent as gold prices fell.
The April gold contract was down US$26.90 at US$1,555.50 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 3.5 cents at US$2.54 a pound.
Reuters, Globe staff