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S&P 500, Nasdaq end at records as coronavirus fears recede

S&P 500, Nasdaq end at records as coronavirus fears recede

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK: The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq surged to fresh records on Wednesday (Feb 5) following strong US jobs data as markets continued to bet the new coronavirus will not significantly crimp global growth.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 37.10 points (1.13 per cent) to 3,334.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 40.71 points (0.43 per cent) to 9,508.68.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also had a good day, climbing 483.22 points (1.68 per cent) to 29,290.85, just a bit short of a record.

Additional companies, including Adidas and Nike, announced store closures in China as the number of cases exceeded 24,000 with nearly 500 deaths.

Authorities in China warned they faced a severe shortage of hospital beds and equipment to treat the growing number of patients.

J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, predicted of the outbreak, "We will continue to see some volatility around it for a little bit until we have a more definite sense of what it means."

Still, stocks have recovered thus far in February after several rocky sessions last month on worries over the virus. Analysts have expressed confidence the outbreak will be largely contained to China and that the economic harm will not be lasting.

Tesla dropped 17.2 per cent, giving back some gains following a massive rally that has more than tripled the electric car's valuation since October.

Rival auto company Ford slumped 9.5 per cent following disappointing results, while General Motors gained 1.9 per cent after releasing solid results and a profit outlook that met analyst expectations.

Among other companies reporting results, Merck dropped 2.9 per cent, Disney slid 2.3 per cent and Snap plunged 14.7 per cent.

Macy's gained 6.0 per cent after it announced it would shutter 125 stores and slash 2,000 jobs over the next three years as part of a plan to shore up its financial position.

Source: AFP/de

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