Nasdaq edges to record as investors monitor China virus

S&P Nasdaq hit new highs on waning China virus fears earnings

S&P Nasdaq hit new highs on waning China virus fears earnings

After taking a hit earlier this week on worries about travel demand, airline stocks were mixed, with Southwest Airlines Co gaining 1.5% and American Airlines Group Inc falling 0.7% following quarterly earnings.

Intel Corp, set to report after markets close, was up 1.0%, while Netflix Inc rebounded from losses sparked by a disappointing forecast. The S&P 500 index was up 3.79 points at 3,325.54, while the Nasdaq composite was up 18.71 points at 9,402.48.

At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 182.05 points, or 0.62 percent, to 29,004.22.

Among companies reporting results, Procter & Gamble dipped 0.5 per cent after reporting better-than-expected profits despite slowing revenue growth.

Among the 11-major S&P 500 sectors, the Financials Index is down 1% pressured by the 2.8% slump in the 10-year T-bond yield. The company is facing tougher competition from Disney, Apple and others.

Technology shares led the S&P 500 marginally higher on Wednesday, as a healthy forecast from IBM helped mitigate worries over the developing coronavirus outbreak. Of the companies that have reported results, 78.4% topped analysts' forecasts for profits, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

"Being in the fourth-quarter earnings season is going to be the tell". The National Assn. of Realtors said sales of previously occupied homes rose in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million. High mortgage rates hurt sales in the first half of the past year, while lower rates boosted purchases in the second half.

Tesla shares climbed 4.1%, pushing the electric vehicle and solar panel maker's market capitalization above $100 billion for the first time.

Wholesale gasoline fell 6 cents to $1.58 per gallon. The increase reverses November's 1.7% decline.

The March crude contract was down US$1.15 at US$55.59 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was up 0.4 of a cent at US$1.90 per mmBTU.

Gold fell $1.10 to $1,555.30 an ounce. Copper fell 3 cents to $2.77 a pound.

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