Stock markets ended the second quarter with good results

Stock markets ended the second quarter with good results

U.S. stocks surged forward on the final day of the best quarter since 1998. Investors contemplated better-than-expected economic data amidst concerns over new coronavirus cases and trade relations with China.

The S&P 500 rallied by 1.5%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 0.8%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index skyrocketed by 1.9%. Meanwhile, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed up 0.1%, and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.7%.

Overall, the Nasdaq Composite Index rallied by 31% in the span, its most since 1999. The S&P 500 gained 20% in second-quarter after a report showed consumer confidence posted its biggest increase since 2011. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged by 18%, notching its best quarter in 33 years.

FedEx Corp. gained as the economic bellwether used an efficiency drive and a rise in health-equipment deliveries to shore up earnings, thus softening the drag on profit from a jump in less lucrative residential deliveries.

Meanwhile, Uber Technologies Inc. soared on Tuesday after a report that it’s negotiating to buy Postmates Inc. On the other hand, Boeing Co. plunged after one of its largest European customers scrapped a $10.6 billion purchase deal.

 

New coronavirus cases threaten the economic recovery

The quarterly surge in equities couldn’t help to maintain optimistic sentiment, though. Rising coronavirus infections threaten to set back reopenings and, with them, any economic progress.

According to infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci, if behaviors don’t change, new cases could jump to 100,000 a day. On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell highlighted that getting the pandemic under control was vital while the U.S. economy rebound. Signs that the economic crisis may linger longer will probably increase pressure for more aid.

Esty Dwek, the head of the global market strategy for Natixis Investment Managers, stated that the downside has become more limited considering how many investors missed the rebound, and how much cash has been sitting on the sidelines while so many remain bearish. He also believes that it is too early to add a lot of risk to portfolios.

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