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US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow muted as rising COVID-19 cases dent recovery hopes

Stock Markets Jun 18, 2020 01:30
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(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click LIVE/ or type
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* Norwegian Cruise Line falls on extending trip suspensions
* Oracle slips after revenue miss
* Nasdaq about 1% below June 10 record high
* Dow flat, S&P up 0.26%, Nasdaq rises 0.76%

(Updates to early afternoon)
By Medha Singh and Devik Jain
June 17 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow edged higher in
choppy trading on Wednesday as hopes of a swift recovery from a
coronavirus-driven downturn were dented by fears of a record
rise in coronavirus cases in six U.S. states.
Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma were among the states that saw
a record increase in new infections on Tuesday as businesses
reopened. Beijing extended its movement curbs as it fought the
worst resurgence of the disease since early February.
Cruise operator Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd NCLH.N
declined about 6% as it extended the suspension of its voyages
through September end due to the virus outbreak. Peers Carnival Corp CCL.N and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd
RCL.N also dropped 5.6% and 7.0% each.
The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX wrapped up its best three-day
percentage rise in a month on Tuesday after a report on a
massive fiscal stimulus plan and a stunning retail sales report
for May reflected a pickup in demand with the easing of
"The market is in a position now where it's priced from an
optimistic standpoint and is looking for what's coming up next,"
said Stan Gregor, chief executive officer of Summit Financial
LLC in Parsippany, New Jersey.
Encouraging economic data and trillions of dollars in
monetary and fiscal stimulus have powered a rally for the Wall
Street indexes from their late-March trough.
The S&P 500 was about 3% below its record closing high hit
in February, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq .IXIC was about 1%
below its all-time closing high on June 10.
"There could be further consolidation in the marketplace,
that would be healthy, and would bring stocks closer to a more
rational valuation level," said Matt Peden, chief investment
officer at GuideStone Capital Management in Dallas.
With a complete U.S. economic recovery out of reach until
the pandemic is brought under control, the Federal Reserve will
use its "full range of tools" to cushion households and
businesses, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said during his second day
of testimony before U.S. lawmakers. At 12:49 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI
was up 14.27 points, or 0.05%, at 26,304.25, the S&P 500 .SPX
was up 7.98 points, or 0.26%, at 3,132.72.
The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 75.12 points, or 0.76%,
at 9,970.99 with Apple Inc AAPL.O , Microsoft Corp MSFT.O and AMZN.O providing the biggest boost.
Energy stocks .SPNY dropped 2%, leading losses among the
major S&P sectors.
Oracle Corp ORCL.N fell 4% after its quarterly revenue
missed estimates as the pandemic led clients in the hospitality,
retail and transportation sectors to postpone purchases.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission told bankrupt
Hertz Global Holdings Inc HTZ.N it has issues with the car
rental firm's plan to sell new shares, the agency's Chairman Jay
Clayton told CNBC on Wednesday. The company's shares were halted pending news as of 12:49
p.m ET.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.26-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and a 1.23-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded nine new 52-week highs and no new
low, while the Nasdaq recorded 93 new highs and four new lows.

US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow muted as rising COVID-19 cases dent recovery hopes

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