Nasdaq, S&P 500 Close at Record Highs as China Pledges to Boost Economy

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 close at record highs after China moves to boost its economy as the coronavirus outbreak claims more than 2,000 lives.
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  1. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed at record highs after China moved to boost its economy as the coronavirus outbreak that started in China now has claimed more than 2,000 lives.
  2. Nvidia is Real Money's Stock of the Day. Shares of the chipmaker were upgraded to outperform by analysts at Bernstein and the price target was raised to $360 from $300 a share.
  3. Coronavirus update: 2,014 deaths globally, 75,284 infected

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed at record highs Wednesday after China moved to boost its economy as the coronavirus outbreak that started in China now has claimed more than 2,000 lives.

The Nasdaq finished up 0.87% to 9,817.18, while the S&P 500 climbed 0.47% to 3,386.15. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 116 points, or 0.4%, to 29,348.

While the number of new virus cases in China has been falling, there have been a total of 75,284 confirmed cases of the disease with 2,014 deaths worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins CSSE.

Market-watchers have been monitoring closely the economic fallout from the virus outbreak, in China and other parts of the world.

“Collapse in demand due to Covid-19 remains the key worry for the markets across the globe as the disease continues its spread,” said Prakash Sakpal, economist for Asia at ING.

Bloomberg reported that China was looking to possibly bail out its airlines, which have suffered amid virus-related travel restrictions, and The Wall Street Journal reported China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Beijing would connect factories with technology companies to identify weak links in their supply chains.

Meanwhile, minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting in January, at which the central bank left rates unchanged in a range between 1.5% and 1.75%, showed that officials felt their current monetary policy was appropriate “for a time” as the U.S. economy faced certain global developments.

“Participants discussed how maintaining the current policy stance for a time could be helpful in supporting U.S. economic activity and employment in the face of global developments that have been weighing on spending decisions,’’ according to the
minutes of the Fed's meeting on Jan. 28-29.

Fed officials also said at the meeting that potential for disruptions from the coronavirus “warranted close watching."

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report was led the Nasdaq, rising sharply Wednesday after analysts at Piper Sandlers lifted their price target on the stock

The analysts, who raised their one-year price target on the stock by almost $200 to $928 a share, expect the electric vehicle company to not only keep making money on battery-powered cars but also on energy generation and the storage to run the cars.

General Electric  (GE) - Get Report reportedly is in talks with Airbus as the jet engine maker's other big customer, Boeing  (BA) - Get Report, continues to face headwinds surrounding its grounded 737 MAX aircraft.

Boeing, meanwhile, found debris in the fuel tanks of undelivered 737 MAX jets, the latest quality-control issue for the aerospace giant and the jet that has been grounded for nearly a year after two fatal crashes.

Nvidia  (NVDA) - Get Report, one of the top gainers on all three exchanges, is Real Money's Stock of the Day. The chipmaker's stock was upgraded to outperform by analysts at Bernstein and the price target was raised to $360 from $300 a share.

U.S. housing starts in January fell 3.6% to an annual pace of 1.57 million, according to the Commerce Department. Building permits, however, rose 9.2% to an annual pace of 1.55 million, the highest level in almost 13 years.