Encouraging economic data boosted US stocks on Tuesday as investors bet on a recovery from the worst effects of the pandemic. The blue-chip S&P 500 index climbed 0.5 per cent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 1.2 per cent. Tesla and Netflix rose 7 per cent and 4 per cent respectively. Oracle ended the day 2.5 per cent higher.
Ireland has imposed new restrictions on Dublin because of rising infections, keeping non-food pubs closed and placing limits on social gatherings. The move came as Micheál Martin’s government introduced a seven-month plan setting out guidance for gatherings, weddings, funerals, and sporting and arts events according to the severity of the pandemic.
Oxford university and AstraZeneca are still waiting to resume the US and South African arms of the international clinical trial of their proposed coronavirus vaccine, though the study has started up after a six-day pause in the UK and Brazil. The trial was suspended everywhere on September 6 when a participant fell ill with inflammation of the spinal cord.
US industrial production, a gauge of output from factories, mines and utilities, rose 0.4 per cent in August from the previous month, the Federal Reserve said. That was slightly worse than economists’ expectations for a 1 per cent increase, While output expanded for the fourth consecutive month, the index remains 7.3 per cent below its pre-pandemic levels.
Strong demand for international priority shipments and parcels being sent to homes in the US amid the coronavirus pandemic led FedEx to deliver a forecast-beating first quarter. The logistics group reported a 13.5 per cent year-on-year rise in revenue to $19.3bn in the three months to August 31. Net profit jumped 68 per cent from a year ago to $1.25bn.
Kraft Heinz has laid down plans for another $2bn worth of cost cuts and new financial targets as the food group seeks to convince Wall Street it can recover from a protracted period of underperformance. While demand for packaged fare has picked up during the pandemic, Kraft Heinz fell to a $1.65bn loss in its most recent quarter.
Carnival expects a $2.9bn loss in the third quarter as a no-sail order remains in place for US cruise operators. The world’s largest cruise operator’s preliminary net loss included a non-cash impairment charge of $937m, the company said. The Miami-based line plans to raise $1bn through a stock offering, having tapped the bond market earlier this year.
UK transport company FirstGroup expects to report a profit for the first half of its financial year as it was boosted by state support and the gradual return of passengers. FirstGroup, which recorded a £300m pre-tax loss for the year ending in March, said it had received “significant interest from potential buyers” of its US school bus businesses.