World shares mostly higher; Tokyo slips as virus cases surge

Thursday, April 8, 2021 | Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer


A woman walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index in Hong Kong Thursday, April 8, 2021. Shares were mostly higher in Asia on Thursday after a mixed close on Wall Street, where gains for several Big Tech stocks nudged the S&P 500 to a second record high in three days. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

BANGKOK (AP) — World shares were mostly higher Thursday though Tokyo’s benchmark declined as reports of rising coronavirus cases raised alarm over another setback in the recovery from the pandemic.

Germany's DAX rose 0.2% to 15,199.69 while the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.5% to 6,160.41. Britain's FTSE 100 edged 0.1% higher to 6,890.55.

The future contract for the S&P 500 added 0.3% to 4,083.30. The future for the Dow industrials gained less than 0.1% to 33,348.00.

Trading has been subdued this week as many countries grapple with a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as new infections appear to be outpacing inoculations in many places.

Tokyo reported 545 new cases Thursday, the highest since early February, and its governor asked the central government to let her issue binding orders under a new virus prevention law that includes penalties for business owners who defy measures and compensation for those who comply. Osaka in western Japan declared a medical emergency as its hospitals became inundated with new cases.

New cases in India hit a record on Thursday with 126,789, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi got his second shot and urged others to follow suit, saying “vaccination is among the few ways we have to defeat the virus.”

The Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.1% to 29,708.98, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong jumped 1.2% to 29,008.07. In Seoul, the Kospi edged 0.2% higher to 3,143.26. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 1% to 6,998.80. The Shanghai Composite index added 0.3% to 3,482.55.

Investors are showing cautious optimism about the economic recovery, especially in the U.S., where v accine distribution has been ramping up and President Joe Biden has bumped up his deadline for states to make doses available to all adults by April 19.

On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P 500 inched up 0.1% to 4,079.95. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1% to 33,446.26. The Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1% to 13,688.84. The S&P 500 and Dow each set record highs on Monday.

Small company stocks, which have been outgaining the broader market this year, took the brunt of the selling. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 1.6%, to 2,223.05. The index is up 12.6% so far this year, while the S&P 500, which tracks large companies, is up 8.6%.

Analysts expect the economy to recover this year, but they also anticipate the market remain choppy as investors shift money to companies and industries that stand to benefit as the pandemic eases. A proposal to invest heavily in major infrastructure, from roads and ports to broadband, education and training could hasten that rebound.

Shares were little changed Wednesday following the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting on interest rate policy.

The minutes revealed that Fed officials were encouraged last month by evidence the U.S. economy was picking up, but they showed no sign of moving closer to ending their bond purchases or lifting their benchmark short-term interest rate from nearly zero.

Investors were reassured by the Fed’s “very optimistic and balanced tone of more growth and transitory inflation,” Stephen Innes of Axi said in a commentary.

“And it keeps U.S. investors in the candy store mode while feeding off the infrastructure stimulus sugar rush.”

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was steady at 1.65%.

In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 34 cents to $59.43 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up 44 cents to $59.77 per barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard for pricing, gave up 21 cents to $62.95 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar slipped to 109.46 Japanese yen from 109.85 yen. The euro rose to $1.1881 from $1.1868.

Featured Article: What is a SEC Filing?



7 Infrastructure Stocks That May Help Rebuild America

Despite their disagreements (real or imagined) on almost everything, Democrats and Republicans alike love infrastructure projects. These are easy wins for Congressional leaders seeking re-election. And they typically spur job creation, which contributes to economic growth.

With that in mind, it’s ironic that, in the last four years, the United States Congress did not pass an infrastructure bill.

Nevertheless, even with (and maybe because of) the gridlock that looks to be in the country’s future, the infrastructure looks to be on the front burner again. The economic recovery is still far from complete. Unfortunately, neither are America’s roads, energy grid, telecommunications systems, and the like. That means that it would seem like a good policy for a Biden administration to look at an infrastructure bill.

Biden will be under pressure to endorse the $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed in July. But the package may need to be tweaked a bit since it currently includes climate change initiatives that have kept the bill from advancing through the Senate.

However, it appears that the economy will need some significant juice after whatever this winter brings in terms of the virus. And if calmer heads prevail (we can always hope), there may be a major infrastructure bill to stimulate job creation. And we’ve identified seven stocks that should bear watching if this comes to pass.

View the "7 Infrastructure Stocks That May Help Rebuild America".


MarketBeat - Stock Market News and Research Tools logo

MarketBeat empowers individual investors to make better trading decisions by providing real-time financial data and objective market analysis. Whether you’re looking for analyst ratings, corporate buybacks, dividends, earnings, economic reports, financials, insider trades, IPOs, SEC filings or stock splits, MarketBeat has the objective information you need to analyze any stock. Learn more.

MarketBeat is accredited by the Better Business Bureau

© American Consumer News, LLC dba MarketBeat® 2010-2021. All rights reserved.
326 E 8th St #105, Sioux Falls, SD 57103 | U.S. Based Support Team at [email protected] | (844) 978-6257
MarketBeat does not provide personalized financial advice and does not issue recommendations or offers to buy stock or sell any security. Learn more.

Our Accessibility Statement | Terms of Service | Do Not Sell My Information

© 2021 Market data provided is at least 10-minutes delayed and hosted by Barchart Solutions. Information is provided 'as-is' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice, and is delayed. To see all exchange delays and terms of use please see disclaimer. Fundamental company data provided by Zacks Investment Research. As a bonus to opt-ing into our email newsletters, you will also get a free subscription to the Liberty Through Wealth e-newsletter. You can opt out at any time.