Wall Street Close: Stocks managed to edge higher despite geopolitics

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  • The Dow added 92 points, or 0.4%, at 25,475.
  • The S&P 500 index put on a modest 0.4% at about 3,056.
  • Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.7% at around 9,552.

Markets were bullish on Monday. US stocks managed to edge higher despite the prospects of the economic damage inflicted by the COVID-19, riots in the US and prospects of a flare-up in trade relations between the US and China. 

With there not being any action on the trade war front, consequently, US benchmarks ended higher as investors bet on the worst of the coronavirus damage has already passed. The Dow added 92 points, or 0.4%, at 25,475, the S&P 500 index put on a modest 0.4% at about 3,056, while Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.7% at around 9,552. 

Investors expect the economic data to show some improvement from April’s record weakness. At the same time, more stimulus is expected in July. The rioting in the US is expected to settle and with there being more bark than bite from the US President Trump with respect to China, markets took the opportunity to keep tracking higher.

However, there was some news that the Chinese officials were reportedly telling some state-owned companies to pause purchases of US agricultural goods while officials re-evaluate the situation something that could play out later in the week and weigh on optimism.

US data

As for US data, the US May manufacturing ISM edged up to 43.1 from April’s 41.5 as new orders lifted 4.7 pts to 31.8. “There was a very modest improvement in the labour market index to 32.1 from 27.5,” analysts at TD Securities explained.

That said, the latest Atlanta Fed GDPNow index probably better reflects the underlying state of the US economy than swings in the ISM. Its latest Q2 estimate fell to ‑51.8% saar last Friday, with real personal consumption expenditures contracting at a 56.5% saar rate. An absence of spending opportunities and belt tightening amid a surge in unemployment, which should reach close to 20% in May, saw the April personal savings rate spike to 33%.

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