Tech stocks surge amid volatile markets overnight

By Meagan Evans. Published at Oct 2, 2020, in Market Wrap

After a day of back and forth trading, US markets ended up higher overnight, with the Nasdaq leading the way, up 1.42% thanks to tech giants Netflix (+5.5%), Telsa (+4.5%), Amazon (+2.3%), Facebook (+1.8%), and Alphabet 1.5%.

The S&P 500 ended the day up 17,8 points or 0.53%, while the Dow ended up 35 points — helped by Walmart, Visa and Boeing — after having been up 259 points earlier and down as many as 112.

Much of the volatility came from uncertainty around further stimulus measures as Republicans and Democrats failed to agree on a plan. The White House countered House Democrats' US$2.2 trillion fiscal stimulus package with a US$1.5 trillion-plus proposal including A$20 billion for airlines.

US jobless claims continued, rising by 837,000 in the week ended 26 September, compared to 873 thousand in the previous week.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 ended the session 0.43% higher, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.23%, while the German DAX ended down 0.23%.

In Asia, trading was suspended on the Tokyo Stock Exchange due to a malfunction in its computer systems with normal trading set to resume today. In China, South Korea, and Hong Kong markets were closed for national holidays.

The ASX looks set for a lower open this morning – the SPI futures index is down 0.5%.

On the commodities front, oil prices took a hit overnight on concerns around global demand as further lockdowns may be necessary as coronavirus cases rise in parts of Europe and the US. This added to existing concerns over rising supply from major OPEC producers.

Brent crude fell 3.6% to $US40.77 a barrel and US (WTI) oil lost 4.1% to $US38.58 a barrel.

US oil producers are doing it tough and are now on pace for most bankruptcies since the 2016 shale downturn. Exxon Mobil fell 3.5% yesterday after it signalled a bigger-than-expected third quarter loss.

Copper was heavily hit, falling 4.4% yesterday to US$6374/t, while spot gold gained slightly to $US1906.13 an ounce. Iron ore is flat at US$121.4/t.

In New York, BHP Ltd was down 0.7% and Rio Tinto down 0.9%.

The Australian dollar strengthen and now at 71.86 US cents.

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