Nasdaq erases 2020 losses, little changed in ASX futures

Published at May 8, 2020, in Market Wrap

Wall Street’s indexes climbed on Thursday, with the Nasdaq erasing losses for 2020, following a clutch of upbeat earnings reports led by PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) as investors looked past more weak jobs data caused by the coronavirus-induced economic downturn.

Australian futures have lifted a marginal 5 points after overnight activity as investors digest economic data, overseas earnings reports and local news.

The ASX 200 eased 0.4% to close at 5,364.2 points as banks weighed on the market. The Australian share market does not have a vast number of technology companies - as opposed to the US where the tech sector makes up over 20% - to propel the index higher. Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) is an exception - the payments technology company rebounded aggressively and is trading close to an all-time high after closing at $39.05 on Thursday.

Banks and Australia's mining sector have underperformed and are the reason why we are not seeing the same level of gains as we see in the US.

US stocks recover - but will it last?

Global stocks have rebounded sharply since late March from the coronavirus-fueled sell-off, helped by massive monetary and fiscal stimulus. Investors are now watching efforts by a number of states to spark their economies by easing restrictions put in place to fight the outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 211.25 points, or 0.89%, to 23,875.89, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 32.77 points, or 1.15%, to 2,881.19 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 125.27 points, or 1.41%, to 8,979.66.

The Nasdaq turned marginally positive for 2020 by closing above 8,972.604, after being down well over 20% for the year as of late March. The S&P 500 remains down over 10% this year.

The S&P 500 posted nine new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 56 new highs and eight new lows.

Data showed millions more Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, suggesting layoffs broadened from consumer-facing industries to other segments of the economy and could remain elevated even as many parts of the country start to reopen.

The US employment report for April is due on Friday.

Investors were also encouraged by news that China’s exports unexpectedly rose in April for the first time this year as factories raced to make up for lost sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters, Iress, SMH, Market Watch, wise-owl

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