Wall Street gains on Boeing, recovery hopes

(Reuters) – A jump in Boeing shares lifted Wall Street on Wednesday, with investors remaining optimistic about an economic rebound from a coronavirus-led slump amid continuing social unrest in the country.

Boeing Co (BA.N) rose 5.5% and was the top boost to the blue-chip Dow Jones index .DJI after billionaire investor Daniel Loeb’s Third Point said it took a stake in the planemaker.

Microchip Technology Inc (MCHP.O) surged 10.5% after the chipmaker raised its forecast for current-quarter sales and profit as it begins making up for lost production due to the pandemic.

Data on Wednesday showed signs of stabilization in the domestic labor market after the ADP National Employment Report said private employers laid off another 2.76 million workers, lesser than an expected 9 million job losses.

The data comes ahead of the more comprehensive jobs report due on Friday.

Supporting the mood further was the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) reading, which showed U.S. services industry activity pushed off an 11-year low in May.

The S&P 500 .SPX and Nasdaq .IXIC have risen in seven of the past eight sessions, and are now about 8% and 2% below their respective mid-February record highs, as encouraging economic data, unprecedented stimulus measures and the lifting of lockdowns have raised bets on a post-pandemic economic recovery.

Markets have largely looked past brewing Sino-U.S. tensions and protests in the United States over the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of the police.

U.S. protesters ignored curfews overnight as they vented their anger, but there was a marked drop in the violence that prompted President Donald Trump to threaten to deploy the military.

“Investors are reassured that there won’t be any actual major upheaval in the country … (and they) believe the Sino-U.S. relationship can survive this most recent wobble,” Connor Campbell, financial analyst at SpreadEx said.

“Combine that with general easing measures around the world regarding the lockdown and markets are pushing quite firmly higher.”

At 10:16 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 251.67 points, or 0.98%, at 25,994.32, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 24.07 points, or 0.78%, at 3,104.89 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 39.69 points, or 0.41%, at 9,648.07.

Ride-hailing firm Lyft Inc (LYFT.O) rose 9.3% after reporting a jump in rides on its platform in May from the prior month, helped by strong growth in cities where coronavirus-induced restrictions have been eased.

Coty Inc (COTY.N) jumped 6.3% after the cosmetics maker said it was in talks with reality TV star Kim Kardashian West on a possible collaboration for a beauty line.

Zoom Video Communications Inc (ZM.O) nearly doubled its expectations for annual sales, driven by a surge in users during the lockdowns. Its shares were up 1.3% after tripling this year.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 4.77-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.64-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded 22 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 61 new highs and two new lows.

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