Home / Markets / Stock Markets /  Vaccine hopes keep US stocks ahead despite spike in infections

Wall Street gained on Friday as Disney and Cisco's upbeat results brought the focus back to corporate earnings at the end of a volatile trading week that saw record surges in coronavirus cases and increased hopes of a working vaccine.

Cisco Systems Inc and Walt Disney Co were the top gainers among 30 Dow components, helping the blue-chip index rise 0.8%.

The network gear maker jumped 6.3% as it gained from a work-from-home driven surge in demand, while Disney rose 2.2% as its rapidly growing streaming video business, and a partial recovery at its theme parks limited its quarterly loss.

"We are finishing an extremely strong earnings season with an exclamation point on Disney's impressive earnings," said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"Corporate America is still optimistic about the future and that's helping stocks recover, along with positive vaccine news earlier this week."

The third-quarter earnings season is in its final stretch with about 90% of S&P 500 companies having reported so far, according to Refinitiv IBES data. Overall profit is expected to fall 7.8% from last year, a significant improvement from a 21.4% slump forecast on Oct. 1.

Wall Street's major indexes broadly fell on Thursday as U.S. coronavirus cases jumped and investors weighed how fast an effective vaccine would be rolled out.

More than a dozen U.S. states reported a doubling of new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, with Chicago's mayor issuing a month-long stay-at-home advisory on Thursday.

Positive data from a late-stage vaccine development earlier this week lifted demand for sectors that usually benefit from an upswing in the economy, such as financial and energy stocks, putting the S&P 500 and Dow on track for weekly gains.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq, however, is headed for a weekly decline as investors booked profits in market-leading technology stocks, which have benefited from a stay-at-home environment.

At 09:42 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 238.36 points, or 0.82%, to 29,318.53, and the S&P 500 gained 28.46 points, or 0.80%, to 3,565.47. The Nasdaq Composite gained 98.56 points, or 0.84%, to 11,808.15.

Cisco's shares helped the tech sector rise by 0.8%, providing the biggest boost to the S&P 500 index.

All major S&P sectors were higher with materials, industrials and energy gaining about 1% each.

Applied Materials Inc rose 4.7% after the chip-gear maker forecast current-quarter revenue and profit ahead of expectations.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 5.4-to-1 ratio, while a 3.8-to-1 ratio favored advancers on the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted two new 52-week highs and no new low, and the Nasdaq Composite recorded 39 new highs and four new lows.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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