Stocks maintained their strong gains by midday Thursday, but tech stocks took the lead and money moved into safe bonds, even as economic data was overwhelmingly strong.
All three major U.S. indices held onto their gains, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq up 1% and the S&P 500 up 0.9%. The 10-Year Treasury yield, which usually expands when economic data points to inflation and growth, fell from 0.7% in the morning to 0.67% by midday.
Job gains for June were 4.8 million against estimates of 3 million and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1% from 13.3%. And as virus infections surge and states pause reopening plans, the House of Representatives voted to extend the Paycheck Protection Program and President Trump announced his support for more stimulus checks sent to households.
In the morning, cyclicals like oil, banks, consumer discretionary and industrials were outperforming, some of them up 2%. By midday, the NYSE FANG index, which has a heavy weighting in the S&P 500, rose 1.5%, as investor interest in owning growth tech that can power through cyclical headwinds remains strong. Those cyclical sectors saw gains back off to around 1%.
Negatively, McDonald’s (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation (MCD) Report is pausing for almost month store reopenings and the stock was up to start the day before falling a few tenths of a percentage point by the afternoon.
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