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  • Foreign Markets - Detailed News
US Stocks end higher
31-Jan-20   09:13 Hrs IST
The US equity market finished session higher on Thursday, 30 January 2020, after brushing off initial losses related to fears about the global coronavirus outbreak. Traders resumed bargain buying late hour after the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus an international emergency but did not recommend restrictions on the movement of people. At closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 124.99 points, or 0.4%, to 28,859.44, the S&P 500 index gained 10.26 points, or 0.3%, to 3,283.66 and The Nasdaq Composite advanced 23.77 points, or 0.3%, to 9,298.93.

Major indexes began the day lower after reports showed another spike in the number of cases stemming from the outbreak. Airlines canceled flights, several companies shut down factories in China and officials from different countries issued guidance discouraging unnecessary travel.

But as the day progressed, shares that worst hit in recent selling—bounced off their lows. Traders attributed some of the market's rebound to remarks made by World Health Organization officials, who in a briefing acknowledged the seriousness of the outbreak but said they weren't recommending restrictions on international trade and travel.

The World Health Organization declared coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern, after the disease has spread to 18 different countries, with person-to-person transmissions occurring within the borders of Germany, Japan, Vietnam, and the U.S., as well as China, where the outbreak began.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of transmission of the disease within U.S. borders on Thursday. Five other Americans have been infected with the disease while abroad. Chinese authorities on Thursday said more than 7,700 people have been infected, with at least 170 dead.

Tesla rocketed up 10.3% as fourth-quarter earnings topped expectations and the company characterised 2019 as a turning point after years of losses. The electric car manufacturer plans to deliver more than a half million vehicles in 2020, 36% more than 2019.

Shares of Coca-Cola gained 3.3%, after the company posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results Thursday.

Microsoft gained 2.8% after the software maker said its cloud business helped drive profits, while sales climbed to a record.

Cigarette maker Altria Inc slid after announcing a US$4.1 billion write-down of its Juul investment, further slashing the value of the once high-flying e-cigarette company, which faces lawsuits and a regulatory crackdown.

Package delivery firm United Parcel Service Inc dropped after it forecast full-year earnings below estimates.

ECONOMIC NEWS FRONT: US Q4 GDP Unchanged At 2.1% -US real gross domestic product climbed by 2.1% in the fourth quarter, unchanged from the third quarter, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The fourth quarter GDP growth reflected positive contributions from consumer spending, government spending, residential fixed investment, and exports as well as a decrease in imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP. Meanwhile, negative contributions from private inventory investment and non-residential fixed investment limited the upside. The pace of GDP growth was unchanged from the previous quarter even though consumer spending growth slowed to 1.8% in the fourth quarter from 3.2% in the third quarter.

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