Stocks – S&P Continues to Flirt With Record as Energy Stocks Jump

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By Yasin Ebrahim – The S&P eased from highs Wednesday, but remained in record territory, as a surge in energy stocks on easing coronavirus fears offset mostly underwhelming earnings.

The rose 0.81%, while the rose 0.17% and the gained 1.2%.

Energy stocks jumped, led by a climb in oil prices on reports that OPEC and its allies are mulling deeper production cuts in response to the coronavirus’s impact on Chinese demand.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:), Halliburton (NYSE:) and Noble Energy (NASDAQ:) were among some the biggest the movers.

Sentiment on stocks was also boosted by reports that researchers in the U.K. have made a “significant breakthrough” in finding a vaccine to the virus, strengthening hopes the outbreak will be contained sooner rather than later.

Tech, however, lagged the move higher, hit by a slump in shares of Tesla (NASDAQ:) and Snap (NYSE:).

Tesla reportedly plans to delay the shipment of deliveries in China due to the coronavirus casting doubt on whether the company will meet its guidance on deliveries for the full year.

But the “aggressive trajectory of Giga 3 production and demand out of Shanghai,” will likely keep the electric automaker on track to meet guidance, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said.

The sharp selloff could also simply be an adjustment after the huge run shares have had this year and particularly since earnings.

Snap, meanwhile, plunged 13% after reporting quarterly revenue that fell short of estimating amid weaker-than-expected average revenue per user (ARPU) – a measure used to gauge the performance of social media companies.

Elsewhere on the earnings front, Ford Motor (NYSE:) faced a wave of selling pressure, falling 9% after missing quarterly earnings estimates. And Disney’s (NYSE:) better-than-expected subscriber numbers for its streaming service Disney+ were offset by an expected hit in operating income due to closure of its China theme parks.

With just days ago until the crucial U.S. jobs report, investors cheered data showing the economy created more private jobs-than-expected and ongoing strength in the services sector, which makes up more than a third of economic growth.

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