Reuters. The spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City

By Medha Singh and Devik Jain

(Reuters) – Wall Street won Wednesday with the S&P 500 reaching its highest level in more than four months, following strong quarterly earnings from Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) and early promising data on a possible COVID-19 vaccine.

The U.S. lender jumped 1.4%, as its business revenues doubled in the second quarter, driven by the sharp swings in equity and bond markets since March.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) gained 0.6% and Bank of America (NYSE:) 1.1% from Thursday’s results, which would conclude the profits of the six major U.S. banks. The broad banking index rose 2.0%.

Energy, Industrials and Materials were the main S&P sectors to record gains.

“We are driven by cyclical investing, which means that people think the economy has hit a nadir and is going to start to follow an upward trend,” said Robert Pavlik, Senior Portfolio Manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

The three major U.S. stock market indices recovered most of their losses due to the coronavirus meltdown, thanks to a series of stimulus measures and encouraging economic data that allowed the S&P 500 to move closer to 5% of its February record level.

With the second quarter earnings season now underway, investors are looking to the annual forecasts of leading companies for signs of the pace of recovery in U.S. businesses.

Wall Street’s fear gauge eased for the second day in a row after peaking on Monday amid a record increase in coronavirus cases in the United States.

“The market got off to a strong start with the news that Moderna (NASDAQ:) has achieved some success in its Phase 1 trials for a COVID-19 drug and the news from Goldman Sachs has been widely reported,” said Pavlik.

UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:) fell 0.3% after being warned of rising costs later in the year as Americans caught up on less urgent surgeries interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Moderna Inc. jumped 12.4% after a small-scale study showed its experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced high levels of antibodies to the virus, raising hopes that the shot could prove effective in later stages of testing.

Travel shares of Carnival (NYSE:) Corp, Royal Caribbean (NYSE:) Cruises Ltd, Marriott International (NASDAQ:) and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:) increased by 7-11%, with the S&P 1500 Airline Index up 6.4%.

At 10:49 a.m. (Eastern time), it was up 342.12 points, or 1.28%, to 26,984.71, while the S&P 500 was up 38.89 points, or 1.22%, to 3,236.41. It was up 114.95 points, or 1.10%, to 10,603.52.

Apple (NASDAQ:) rose 1.6% after the second European court rejected an EU order requiring the iPhone maker to pay €13 billion ($14.78 billion) in Irish tax arrears.

Increasing issuance has outpaced declining issuance by a ratio of 6.41 to 1 on the NYSE and 5.63 to 1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P Index recorded 24 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 54 new highs and no new lows.

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2020-07-15