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Wall Street mixed after lunch but Dow Jones up; Walmart shares flying on TikTok news

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1.20pm: Wall Street mixed

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was still going strong after lunch, but the tech-laden Nasdaq index had turned red.

The benchmark Dow Jones was up over 150 points at 28,482 with Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT), a big contributor to the gain. The retailer’s shares zoomed up over 5% to US$137.55 on the back of news it was partnering with tech giant Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) on a bid for TikTok.

The latter is reportedly nearing a deal to sell its US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand businesses in a deal that is likely to be worth between US$20bn and US$30 billion.

The S&P 500 added around 0.95 at 3,479. The Dow Jones gained over 163 at 28,495.

12pm EST /5pm:  FTSE 100 in the red

FTSE 100 closed lower and below the 6,000 level on Thursday as US stocks continued to surge.

Britain’s blue-chip benchmark finished the day down over 45 points, or 0.75%, to 5,999.

European indices seemed little interested in the US Fed’s latest stance on monetary policy, seen as potentially easier as time goes on.

But on Wall Street the mood was different as traders digested Powell’s comments and economic data, while in stocks Walmart ( NYSE:WMT) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), up over 4% and 3% respectively, were both on a tear as reports emerged that the pair were partnering up in a bid to acquire social media group TikTok.

Microsoft has been in discussions for weeks to buy TikTok’s business in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“US indices continues to be in a league of their own as the S&P 500 traded above 3,500 for the first time, and the NASDAQ 100 has set another record high by trading above 12,000,” said David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets.

“There were no major surprises from today’s economic releases. The jobless claims reading fell from 1.1 million to 1 million, meeting forecasts. The continuing claims update dropped to 14.4 million, from 14.8 million,” he said.

Gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter was revised to negative 31.7% from negative 32.9%, while economists had been expecting negative 32.5.

US and Canada 4.15pm/11.15am EST

Wall Street benchmarks were in the green in early deals in New York on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged over 227 points at 28,559. The broader-based S&P 500 added around 16 points at 3,493. The tech-heavy Nasdaq exchange added over 29 points at 11,694. In Toronto, the TSX advanced almost 14 points at 16,803.

3.30pm/ 10.30am EST: Proactive North America headlines:

AEX Gold Inc (LON:AEXG) (CVE:AEX) hails significant increase in exploration activity in first half

China Xiangtai Food’s (NASDAQ:PLIN) first hot pot restaurant to hold grand opening on Friday

Aftermath Silver Ltd (CVE:AAG) (OTCQB:AAGFF) set for C$12.5M placing, with gold bull Eric Sprott investing over C$5.3M

O3 Mining Inc (CVE:OIII) encouraged by stripping results at Alpha property in Quebec ahead of drill program earmarked to begin in the fall

Canafarma Hemp Products Corp (CSE:CNFA) says record producer who has worked with Snoop Dogg and Jason Deroulo will spearhead the firm’s media efforts

NexTech AR Solutions Corp (OTCQB:NEXCF) (CSE:NTAR) says Carnegie Mellon University picks its InfernoAR platform for virtual series in September

Orogen Resources Inc (CVE:OGN) options Sarape gold property to Hochschild Mining subsidiary in Mexico

AgraFlora  Organics International Inc (CSE:AGRA) (OTCMKTS:AGFAF) begins R&D trials at Winnipeg edibles manufacturing facility

Todos Medical Ltd (OTCQB: TOMDF) to supply New York lab with COVID-19 PCR testing equipment and supplies

Hannan Metals Ltd (CVE:HAN) (OTCPINK:HANNF) wraps up remote geological study, defines two new target areas at Tabalosos copper-silver property

9.40am: Wall Street heads north

Wall Street shrugged off predictions of a mixed open to start higher across the board on Thursday after the Federal Reserve announced a new strategy that was widely interpreted as pointing towards an easier monetary policy stance.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.38% at 28,438 while the S&P 500 climbed 0.23% to 3,481 and the Nasdaq rose 0.2% to 11,685.

The central bank said it has adopted an average inflation target of 2%, adding that they also sought to “mitigate shortfalls of employment”.

The announcement was timed simultaneously with the start of Fed chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole conference which is now underway.

7.45am: Wall Street expected to see mixed start

Once again, the tech-heavy NASDAQ is set to provide a bit of glitz in an otherwise dull market when trading starts stateside this afternoon.

The NASDAQ Composite, which rose nigh-on 200 points yesterday, is set to open around 110 points higher today at 11,975, putting the Dow and the S&P firmly in the shade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is expected to open 51 points lower at 28,281 while the S&P 500, which exerted itself yesterday in climbing 35 points, is tipped to sit down for a bit of a breather and open at around 3,475, down 4 points.

“Stock markets are paring gains on Thursday as investors eagerly await the appearance of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at this year’s virtual Jackson Hole event,” said Craig Erlam, the senior market analyst at OANDA.

“The central bank’s monetary policy framework has been the hot topic this week, with everyone speculating about what changes the Fed will consider that will allow interest rates to remain lower for longer.

“Despite central banks offering unprecedented amounts of stimulus and stock markets hitting new highs on a regular basis, investors are craving another stimulus fix. With rates already at record lows, attention is turning to the timeframe, with investors effectively looking for guarantees that they won’t move for a considerable period of time,” Erlam continued

If investors really are the fiscal stimulus junkies Erlam believes them to be then perhaps they are, indeed, eagerly awaiting Powell’s pronouncements.

“Whilst Jerome Powell is the star performer, warm-up acts in the form of US GDP data (2nd revision) and initial jobless claims will also be in focus,” noted Fiona Cincotta of City Index.

“US GDP is expected to see a very slight downward revision to 32.6% from 32.9%. Initial jobless claims could garner more interest. Last week they rose back above 1 million, potentially the first sign of trouble after the Federal additional $600 unemployment benefit expired. Should claims remain over 1 million pressure will ramp up on Congress to agree to an additional rescue package,” she added.

Five things to watch for on Thursday:

  • Jerome Powell’s long awaited speech at the Jackson Hole conference, where the Fed chair will likely outline the central bank’s stand on inflation. However other notable speakers at the conference will include the governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey and Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem
  • The second estimate for US GDP growth in the second quarter of 2020. The previous reading showed a massive 32.9% contraction in the three months during the peak of the economic shutdown caused by the pandemic, pushing the American economy into recession
  • US jobless claims data for the week ending August 22, which are expected to fall to 1mln from 1.1mln in the previous week
  • Earnings data from computer maker Dell Technologies Inc (NYSE:DELL), clothing group Abercrombie & Fitch Co (NYSE:ANF) and firearms maker Smith & Wesson Brands Inc (NASDAQ:SWBI)
  • Political developments from the final day of the Republican National Convention, which will see speakers including President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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