Wall Street notched fresh intraday highs on Monday as tech and materials stocks rallied and as investors geared up for the start of fourth-quarter earnings.
The S&P 500 climbed as much as 0.6 per cent to 3,283.81 — boosted by a more than 1 per cent rally in the tech and materials sectors. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9 per cent to 9,258.47. Both indices notched fresh intraday records.
Elsewhere in markets, US Treasuries sold off, with the yield on the US 10-year up 1.8 basis points to 1.837 per cent, while that on the two-year was up 1 basis point to 1.580 per cent. Yields move inversely to price.
The dollar index, a gauge of the buck against a weighted basket of peers, was little changed at 97.32.
Nvidia, Skyworks Solutions, Salesforce and Apple were among the big tech names advancing on Monday. Automaker Tesla was also on a tear with shares breaching the $500 mark for the first time.
There was no major directional driver on Wall Street but Monday’s rally came amid easing geopolitical tension. The US Treasury department is expected to remove the China ‘currency manipulator’ tag ahead of the signing of a trade deal, signalling a further thawing of relations between the world’s two largest economies. Washington and Beijing are expected to ink their phase one deal on Wednesday.
Jitters around US and Iranian relations — following the killing of Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Soleimani last week and Iranian missile strikes on US forces based in neighbouring Iraq — have eased up as well. Attention has now shifted to Tehran, which over the weekend said it mistakenly shot down a Ukraine International Airlines passenger jet, killing all 176 passengers and crew but blamed the US for heightened tension.
Investors are also gearing up for fourth-quarter earnings season which gets under way on Tuesday with JPMorgan, Citi and Wells Fargo scheduled to report results. Corporate America is expected to report its first earnings growth since the end of 2018.
Wall Street’s moves followed a mixed day in Europe, with the Stoxx 600 down 0.2 per cent, while the FTSE 100 was up 0.4 per cent. Overnight in Asia, the CSI 300 advanced 1 per cent, the Hang Seng climbed 1.1 per cent and the Topix advanced 0.4 per cent.