A jump in Boeing shares has lifted Wall Street, with investors remaining optimistic about an economic rebound from a coronavirus-led slump amid continuing social unrest in the country.
Boeing rose 5.5 per cent and was the top boost to the blue-chip Dow Jones index after billionaire investor Daniel Loeb’s Third Point said it took a stake in the planemaker.
Microchip Technology surged 10.5 per cent after the chipmaker raised its forecast for current-quarter sales and profit as it begins making up for lost production due to the pandemic.
Data on Wednesday showed signs of stabilisation in the domestic labour market after the ADP National Employment Report said private employers laid off another 2.76 million workers, lesser than an expected 9 million job losses.
The data comes ahead of the more comprehensive jobs report due on Friday.
Supporting the mood further was the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) reading, which showed US services industry activity pushed off an 11-year low in May.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have risen in seven of the past eight sessions, and are now about eight per cent and two per cent below their respective mid-February record highs, as encouraging economic data, unprecedented stimulus measures and the lifting of lockdowns have raised bets on a post-pandemic economic recovery.
Markets have largely looked past brewing Sino-US tensions and protests in the United States over the death of an unarmed African-American man at the hands of the police.
US protesters ignored curfews overnight as they vented their anger, but there was a marked drop in the violence that prompted President Donald Trump to threaten to deploy the military.
SpreadEx financial analyst Connor Campbell said investors were optimistic of an economic recovery.
“Investors are reassured that there won’t be any actual major upheaval in the country … (and they) believe the Sino-US relationship can survive this most recent wobble,” he said.
“Combine that with general easing measures around the world regarding the lockdown and markets are pushing quite firmly higher.”
At 10.16am local time on Wednesday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 251.67 points, or 0.98 per cent, at 25,994.32, the S&P 500 was up 24.07 points, or 0.78 per cent, at 3,104.89 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 39.69 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 9,648.07.
Ride-hailing firm Lyft rose 9.3 per cent after reporting a jump in rides on its platform in May from the prior month, helped by strong growth in cities where coronavirus-induced restrictions have been eased.
Coty jumped 6.3 per cent after the cosmetics maker said it was in talks with reality TV star Kim Kardashian West on a possible collaboration for a beauty line.
Zoom Video Communications nearly doubled its expectations for annual sales, driven by a surge in users during the lockdowns. Its shares were up 1.3 per cent after tripling this year.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 4.77-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.64-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 22 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 61 new highs and two new lows.