Monday’s Stock Market Close: US Equities Rise As Tech Delivers Strong Gains, While Traders Await GOP’s New Stimulus Package

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U.S. stocks climbed on Monday as tech stocks outperformed the broader market while investors looked for the unveiling of the Republicans’ new COVID-19 relief bill. Nasdaq was boosted by a 2.37% rise in Apple (AAPL).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 114.88 points to 26,584.77 while the S&P 500 rose 23.78 points to 3,239.41 and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 173.09 points to 10,536.27.

Monday’s volume on the New York Stock Exchange totaled 3.34 billion shares with 1,778 issues advancing, 108 setting new highs, and 1,225 declining, with eight stocks setting a new low .

Active movers were led by Intel (INTC), Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and MediciNova Inc. (MNOV).

Republicans were expected to introduce their COVID-19 relief bill on Monday. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the proposal will include another $1,200 check. But Senate Republicans are reportedly seeking to cut weekly unemployment benefits to $200 from $600.

Aneta Markowska, chief economist at Jefferies warned there “is still a wide gap between the GOP and Democrats, especially on unemployment benefits and state and local [government]aid. Closing the gap will probably take more than a week, which means that an agreement is unlikely to be reached before July 31.”

Gold prices surged to a new record high of almost $1,944 per ounce.

“Gold is probably giving us a warning … but the market continues to chug along higher,” said J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

The U.S. government also allocated an additional $472 million to Moderna’s (MRNA) coronavirus vaccine research.

While most companies have beat analysts’ earnings expectations, overall S&P 500 earnings have plunged more than 40% compared to last year.

“Stock prices have soared even as analysts’ consensus expected earnings estimates have plunged,” said Ed Yardeni, chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research. “These estimates have started to show signs of bottoming in the past few weeks. However, any recovery could be dampened or even aborted if the COVID-19 case count continues to mount and state governors slow or reverse the lifting of lockdown restrictions.”

McDonald’s (MCD), Pfizer (PFE), Alphabet (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) will release their latest quarterly earnings this week.

U.S. durable goods orders gained 7.3% in June. Nondefense orders excluding aircraft climbed 3.3%.

The Federal Reserve will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The July FOMC meeting should kick off a period from August into mid-September in which markets should price in an increasingly dovish, forward-looking Fed policy via lower real rates,” Morgan Stanley strategists wrote in a report. “This should benefit breakeven inflation rates, support risk assets, and weigh on the U.S. dollar.”

Overnight in Asia markets finished lower, as China’s Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.26%; Japan’s Nikkei-225 fell 0.16% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Exchange dropped 0.41%.

In Europe markets finished slightly lower, as Britain’s FTSE-100 fell 0.31%, while France’s CAC-40 slipped 0.34% and Germany’s DAX was flat.

Crude oil futures gained 0.78% at $41.61 per barrel, Brent crude rose 0.11% at $43.95. Gold futures rose 1.83%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury jumped 3.4% to 0.609% while yield on the 30-year Treasury gained 1.05% to 1.252%.

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