Roundup: U.S. equities post weekly gains amid upbeat economic data, Fed minutes

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 5, 2020
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NEW YORK, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Wall Street's major averages advanced in the holiday-shortened week as investors digested a slew of key economic data and the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting minutes.

For the week, the Dow rose 3.3 percent, the S&P 500 climbed 4 percent, and the Nasdaq jumped 4.6 percent.

The S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index, which is designed to track the performance of the 50 largest Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges by total market cap, logged a weekly gain of 2.3 percent.

U.S. financial markets were closed on Friday in observance of Independence Day, which falls on Saturday this year.

Wall Street cheered better-than-anticipated economic data.

Total nonfarm payroll employment in the United States rose by 4.8 million in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday, beating market consensus. The unemployment rate declined to 11.1 percent from 13.3 percent in May. Economists were expecting a rate of 12.4 percent, according to Dow Jones.

"These improvements in the labor market reflected the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it," said the bureau in a statement.

Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector grew in June, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said Wednesday. The ISM manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) registered 52.6 percent in June, up 9.5 percentage points from the May reading of 43.1 percent.

The Conference Board said on Tuesday that U.S. consumer confidence index jumped 12.2 points to 98.1 in June, the biggest one-month gain since 2011, exceeding estimates of 91.5 as more businesses reopened and mobility restrictions were lifted.

Investors also pored through the minutes of the U.S. central bank's latest policy meeting.

Fed officials last month discussed the risks of additional waves of COVID-19 outbreaks on the U.S. economy as states continued reopening efforts, according to the minutes released Wednesday.

"A number of participants judged that there was a substantial likelihood of additional waves of outbreaks, which, in some scenarios, could result in further economic disruptions and possibly a protracted period of reduced economic activity," said the minutes of the Fed's meeting held on June 9 and 10, during which the central bank expected the benchmark interest rate to remain at the current level of near zero through at least 2022.

The number of new coronavirus infections has continued to rise in the United States recently, causing some states to suspend their easing measures.

More than 2.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States, with over 129,000 deaths, as of Saturday noon, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Enditem

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