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US stocks close higher a day after nasty sell-off, snapping 4-day losing streak

Amazon.com shares led tech stocks, rising 5.7% after a Bernstein analyst upgraded the e-commerce giant to buy from hold

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Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, will appear alongside US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin before a House committee on Tuesday

4:05pm: US stocks end higher on tech strength 

US stocks closed higher Tuesday a day after a nasty sell-off on coronavirus fears, snapping a 4-day losing streak as investors returned to tech stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.52%, or 104 points, to 27,288. The S&P 500 rose 1.05% to 3,315 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq increased 1.71% to 10,963.

Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares led tech stocks, rising 5.7% after a Bernstein analyst upgraded the e-commerce giant to buy from hold.

12:15 pm: Tech stocks keep markets afloat

Markets have teetered near the flatline, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average soured midday after opening in the green. The index was down 48 points, 0.1%.

The S&P 500 managed to hold its head above water for the first time in five days, gaining 9 points, 0.3%, to 3,290.2. The Nasdaq rose 52 points, 0.5%, to 10,831.

"Volatility in US stocks is likely to be low as Fed chair, Jerome Powell, and US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, are testifying before the House Financial Services Committee," UK-based analyst David Madden wrote. "Mr Mnuchin said the economy is recovering quickly in the third quarter but added that targeted aid is still needed."

Tech shares led the way, including Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), which got positive news in the form of an upgrade to Buy from Hold from an analyst at Bernstein, according to CNBC.

Shares of the internet marketplace jumped 3.4% to $3,059.87.

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9:40 am: US stocks head north at open

US stocks started on the front foot on Tuesday with tech firms, recently under pressure, leading the way.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average started up over 29 points at 27,176. The broader S&P 500 added over 15 points at 3,296.  The Nasdaq index gained over 78 points at 10,857.

On Monday, US benchmark indices headed south due to fears on renewed lockdowns in Europe due to COVID-19 along with the stalemate in Congress over another coronavirus-response bill.

Commentators reckon US markets will see much uncertainty and volatility right up now until the Presidential election on November 3.

Eyes today are on Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell as he makes the first of three appearances  before the House of Representatives this week to respond to questions about emergency measures the central bank has taken to help the US economy amid the crisis.

8 am: Big day ahead for some

US indices look set to rally on Tuesday following sharp falls in the previous session amid global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic escalations and on domestic political uncertainty, with all eyes today on Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Spread betting quotes point to the Dow Jones Industrials Average rising by around 27 points to 27,175 having plunged 510 points or 1.8% on Monday.

The S&P 500 index is expected to open 12 points higher at 3,293 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite is seen starting 299 points stronger at 11,078, ahead of the eagerly anticipated “battery day” presentation by electric cars maker Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), albeit due after the market closes.

Later today, the Fed chairman will appear alongside US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin before a House committee to discuss unspent credit facilities.

Powell has already released a statement ahead of his appearance before the House Financial Services Committee saying the US economy would “recover fully from this difficult period”, adding the caveat that more fiscal stimulus would hurry things along some.

"Economic activity has picked up from its depressed second-quarter level, when much of the economy was shut down to stem the spread of the virus. Many economic indicators show marked improvement.

"Both employment and overall economic activity, however, remain well below their pre-pandemic levels, and the path ahead continues to be highly uncertain," the Fed boss said.

Craig Erlam, senior market analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA commented: “With the Fed having done an extraordinary job in stabilizing the financial system and providing huge amounts of monetary stimulus, even adjusting its framework last month to allow rates to remain lower for longer, emphasis will likely fall on fiscal measures, or lack thereof.

“Powell has repeatedly called for more stimulus to support the recovery but Congress has failed to find a compromise and hopes for a deal before the election are fading fast. That will leave households and businesses without support going into a troublesome winter period and could come with significant economic consequences.”

Five things to watch on Tuesday:

  • Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell appears before the House of representatives’ Financial Services Committee at 10.30am Eastern Time
  • US existing home sales August data on due at 10.00am Eastern Time
  • Tesla Inc. shares down 3% in premarket trade ahead of the company’s “battery day” event after chief executive Elon Musk aimed to tone down expectations ahead of the event, tweeting late Monday that the products set to be unveiled “will not reach serious high-volume production until 2022”
  • Amazon.com Inc. upgraded to outperform from market perform by analysts at Bernstein
  • China is unlikely to approve an “unfair” deal Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc said they have struck with ByteDance over the future of video-streaming app TikTok, the country’s state-backed Global Times newspaper said in an editorial

Quick facts: Tesla Inc

Price: 388.04 USD

NASDAQ:TSLA
Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $367.82 billion
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