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Amazon and Netflix push Wall Street higher


By Noel Randewich

(Reuters) - and fuelled a second straight session of gains on Wall Street on Monday, as the resumption of U.S.-trade talks helped ease concerns that have pummelled the market in recent months.

The benchmark S&P 500's <.SPX> advance added to a 3.4 percent surge on Friday, when strong U.S. jobs data eased worries over the economy and remarks by the Federal Reserve calmed investors nervous that interest rate hikes would crimp growth.

Fears of a global slowdown have led to a sharp pullback in the markets over the last few months and in analysts' estimates for corporate growth. But after hitting a 20-month low on Christmas Eve, the S&P has gained over 9 percent.

has the "good faith" to work with the to resolve trade frictions, said, while U.S. said he saw "a very good chance that we will get a reasonable settlement" as the two countries started their first face-to-face talks since a 90-day truce was agreed in December.

"The main thing is the administration's implied progress on talks with That's something that the market sees as very important," said Rick Meckler, partner at in New Vernon,

Nine of the 11 S&P sectors rose. The consumer discretionary index <.SPLRCD> was the biggest gainer, jumping 2.36 percent, led by a 3.44 percent rise in Amazon. That made Amazon Wall Street's most valuable company at $797 billion, eclipsing Microsoft Corp's market capitalization, which reached $784 billion following a 0.13 percent rise in its stock.

Video-streaming service Netflix, the second-largest contributor to the S&P 500's increase on Monday, climbed 5.97 percent.

Those companies and other high-and consumer stocks have rebounded after falling sharply in the final quarter of 2018.

Much of Monday's upbeat sentiment was an extension of Friday's rally.

"The on Friday was positive, and market participants are now acting more confident, and that is feeding on itself," said Tom Martin, a at in

The S&P gained 1.29 percent as rose on support from OPEC production cuts. [O/R]

The Philadelphia Semiconductor index <.SOX>, which includes many companies dependent on China for revenue, jumped 1.95 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 0.42 percent to end at 23,531.35 points, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 0.70 percent to 2,549.69. The <.IXIC> added 1.26 percent to 6,823.47.

The Russell 2000 index <.RUT> of small companies rose 1.78 percent, bringing its gain over the past two sessions to 5.60 percent.

The dipped 0.71 percent, dragged lower by PG&E Corp's 22 percent slump. reported that the utility is exploring filing for bankruptcy protection related to potential liabilities from wildfires.

With earnings season approaching, investors expect a slowdown in fourth-quarter profit growth, and they will scrutinize forecasts for signs of further weakness.

Analysts now estimate S&P 500 companies to increase their fourth-quarter earnings per share by 15 percent. That compares with expectations of 20 percent growth three months ago, according to Refinitiv IBES data. The estimate for 2019 profit growth has fallen to about 7 percent from 10 percent.

jumped 5.46 percent after activist investor called on the retailer to sell its underperforming business and proposed replacing a majority of its board.

surged 66.33 percent after said it would buy the for about $8 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.69-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.05-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted no new 52-week highs and no new lows; the recorded 28 new highs and 16 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 8.1 billion shares, compared to the 9.0 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

(Reporting by in San Francisco; additional reporting by in Bengaluru; Editing by and Leslie Adler)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 03:07 IST