Tech stocks rally, help­ing to buoy Wall Street

Orlando Sentinel - - Business - By Stan Choe and Alex Veiga

Wall Street was split on Mon­day as con­tin­ued gains for tech­nol­ogy and health care stocks helped cover up for more preva­lent losses else­where.

The S&P 500 ended the day at a vir­tual stand­still, up just 0.52 points at 2,930.19, de­spite a lot of move­ment go­ing on un­der­neath. It ral­lied back from an ear­lier loss of 0.9% in the morn­ing.

The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age fell 109.33 points, or 0.4%, to 24,221.99, while the Nas­daq com­pos­ite added 71.02, or 0.8%, to 9,192.34.

Through the mud­dled day, one of the mar­ket’s few points of clar­ity was that in­vestors con­tinue to love tech­nol­ogy stocks.

Even with the coro­n­avirus pan­demic throw­ing the global econ­omy into dis­ar­ray, tech stocks in the S&P 500 have been re­mark­ably re­silient. They’re up 4.1% for 2020 as in­vestors look for com­pa­nies that can be win­ners in both a “nor­mal” and a stay-at-home econ­omy.

Ap­ple rose 1.6%, Nvidia added 3.2% to re­turn to a record, and Ad­vanced Mi­cro De­vices climbed 4.8% for one of Mon­day’s big­gest gains in the S&P 500.

This year’s sec­ond-best sec­tor has been health care, which has trimmed its loss for 2020 to just 1%.

Biotech stocks were par­tic­u­larly strong Mon­day. And Car­di­nal Health had the big­gest gain in the S&P 500, up 6.7%, af­ter re­port­ing stronger-than-ex­pected earn­ings for its lat­est quar­ter, partly be­cause of in­creased phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sales due to the pan­demic.

Those gains helped to make up for 69% of stocks fall­ing in the S&P 500.

“Peo­ple are look­ing ahead, and they’re say­ing, ‘OK, the pan­demic has hap­pened, and the dam­age has swept through our econ­omy and our busi­nesses, and now we’re plan­ning on the growth af­ter the car­nage, so we’re valu­ing eq­ui­ties as if we’re go­ing to go back to a de­cent growth en­vi­ron­ment,’ ” said Mike Zig­mont, head of trad­ing and re­search at Har­vest Vo­latil­ity Man­age­ment.

The S&P 500 has ral­lied 31% since late March, at first on re­lief af­ter the Fed­eral Re­serve and Capi­tol Hill pledged mas­sive amounts of aid for the econ­omy.

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