Nvidia pushes S&P 500, Nasdaq higher amid coronavirus worries

Nvidia pushes S&P 500, Nasdaq higher amid coronavirus worries

Wall Street was set to open lower on Thursday after scaling record levels in the previous session, as a spike in new coronavirus deaths and cases in China sent investors scurrying for safe havens.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

REUTERS: The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq edged higher on Friday, supported by Nvidia shares after its upbeat outlook, but concerns about an economic hit from the coronavirus outbreak limited gains.

Nvidia Corp jumped 8per cent as the company forecast first-quarter revenue ahead of analysts' estimates, reinforcing expectations of a rebound in chip demand.

Its shares lifted the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index by 0.3per cent, while the broader technology rose 0.5per cent.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus epidemic in China showed no signs of easing, with health authorities reporting on Friday more than 5,000 new cases.

A recent Reuters poll showed the world's second-biggest economy will grow at its slowest pace since the financial crisis in the current quarter but the downturn will be short-lived if the outbreak is contained.

"This seems to be a teflon market, where any negativity - whether it is coronavirus or anything - for now continues to get shrugged off," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

Economic data continues to be good enough to sustain the market's uptrend, he added.

Wall Street was on course for a second straight weekly gain after hitting a series of record highs on a largely positive fourth-quarter earnings season and confidence in the U.S. economy.

However, data released on Friday was not so rosy. A Commerce Department retail sales report showed consumer spending likely slowed further in January, while separate data indicated industrial production fell more than expected last month.

At 11:44 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.36 points, or 0.01per cent, at 29,420.95. The S&P 500 was up 4.78 points, or 0.14per cent, at 3,378.72 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 25.48 points, or 0.26per cent, at 9,737.45.

The fourth-quarter earnings season is approaching the final lap. About 71per cent of the 378 S&P 500 firms that have reported so far have topped earnings estimates, according to IBES by Refinitiv.

Expedia Inc jumped 11.3per cent after the online travel services company forecast strong quarterly core earnings amid coronavirus uncertainties.

The energy , healthcare and industrial sectors were the losers among the 11 major S&P sectors.

U.S. financial markets are closed on Monday for President's Day.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.17-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.02-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 59 new 52-week highs and two new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 110 new highs and 41 new lows.

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Sruthi Sankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Subhranshu Sahu)

Source: Reuters