US stocks end higher, extending rally

NEW YORK (AFP) – Wall Street indices closed higher on Wednesday (July 20), extending the prior session’s rally into a second day, a bright spot in a dismal year for equities.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 per cent to finish at 31,878.20.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.6 per cent to close at 3,959.95, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.6 per cent to 11,897.65.

While the better-than-expected tone of quarterly earnings reports has helped, Karl Haeling of LBBW said the bounce mostly reflects investors readjusting and notably moving back into tech shares.

“It’s not the usual fundamentals story about the earnings being good,” he told AFP. “I think it is this positioning. I think it’s the real driver of the stock market the last couple days.”

But he cautioned, “Whether that means that we reached the bottom or not, that’s a big debate.”

Among individual companies, Netflix jumped 7.4 per cent after it reported the loss of 970,000 subscribers – its second quarter in a row with a decline – but projected a big increase in paying customers in the current quarter.

Big names reporting after the close included Tesla, which gained 0.8 per cent, and United Airlines, which rose 0.5 per cent.