Technology-heavy Nasdaq rose sharply on the last day of the quarter, before President Joe Biden is expected to launch a giant infrastructure package.
Published: Just updated
There were green arrows on Wall Street on Wednesday, much thanks to the rise of the technology-heavy Nasdaq index. The Dow Jones recovered somewhat after a weak start, but still ended weakly in the red.
This is how it went with the leading US indices:
- Dow Jones down 0.25 percent
- Nasdaq up 1.54 percent
- S&P 500 up 0.37 percent
At the same time, they are waiting for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package.
It is expected to be worth between 2,000 and 3,000 billion dollars, according to CNBC and CNN.
The plan will involve raising the corporation tax to 28 percent, a government official said Tuesday night, according to CNBC.
Wednesday marks the last day of March, and the last day of the first quarter of the year. Both S&P and Dow Jones are in positive territory for both the month and the quarter before today’s results.
However, the Nasdaq is lagging somewhat behind, and is down 1.1 percent in March alone. Before today’s results, however, the technology-heavy index is up 1.2 per cent for the quarter.
Archegos weighs on the banks
The big talk on Wall Street last week was the huge forced sales from the hedge fund Archegos Capital Management.
Archegos, which is led by manager Bill Hwang, is said to have broken the margin requirements for positions linked to a number of shares. It is said to have triggered forced sales worth billions of dollars, according to several media.
The shares in the media company Discovery, which are said to have been forcibly sold after the Archegos scandal, continue the climb after falling heavily last week and on Monday.
The B-share of Discovery was at one point up over 100 percent on Wednesday night, but fell slightly towards the end and could note an increase of 84.14 percent.
This comes after the share rose 28.9 percent yesterday, Tuesday.
The company is thus the clear winner on the Nasdaq index this week.
CNBC reports an unusual amount of trading in the share, and an unusually different trading pattern from the company’s less traded A-share.
On the Dow Jones, investment banks Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase fell 1.51 and 1.46 percent, respectively, and thus fall back after recovering somewhat after last week’s major event.
Last week’s big losers, Credit Suisse and Nomura, continue to plunge. They fall 3.55 and 3.24 percent, respectively. Both acted as brokers for Archegos and have already announced “significant losses”.
Billion-dollar contract with Microsoft
Just before closing time, CNBC was able to announce that Microsoft has secured a contract with the US Army that could be worth over 21 billion dollars over 10 years.
The company will supply over 120,000 glasses based on “augmented reality” technology.
This comes after Microsoft previously won a contract with the military to supply the prototype of the same product.
Microsoft shares rose 1.69 percent during Wednesday.
Before the stock market opened on Wall Street, recent figures came from the US labor market. According to figures from ADP, 517,000 new jobs were created in the private sector in March – significantly up from 176,000 the month before.
However, it is below the estimate of 525,000 jobs, but the strongest increase since September last year, according to SME / TDN.
Later this week, on Friday, comes what is often referred to as “the most important number of the month” – non-farm payrolls. The key figure from the US Department of Labor shows the number of new jobs created outside of agriculture in the past month.
Updated: March 31, 2021 10:12 PM
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