US STOCKS-Wall St ends highest in Boeing hit, eye stimulus

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* Boeing emerges when MAX 737 test flight begins

* Pending home sales jump in May

* Gilead announces remdesivir prices (Updates at market close)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, June 29 (Reuters) – Wall Street stocks closed higher on Monday and the S&P 500 was poised to hit its biggest quarterly percentage increase since 1998 as investors expected a stimulus-backed economic rebound, while that an increase in Boeing stock helped drive The Dow Blue-Chip.

The aircraft maker’s shares rose more than 13% after a 737 MAX took off Monday from a Seattle-area airport on the first day of certification flight testing with the US Federal Aviation Administration and pilots test drive, a pivotal moment in Boeing’s worst crisis.

Last week, a surge in virus infections in the southern and western states caused the S&P 500 to drop nearly 3%, but the threat of a deeper recession than previously feared has led investors to expect more. stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve or Congress.

But the sting of growing infections was mitigated by the price of the antiviral drug remdesivir, which Gilead Sciences has shown to alter the course of COVID-19. The company also agreed to ship almost all of its supply of the drug to the United States over the next three months.

While the S&P 500 was up more than 17% in the quarter, the index fell slightly during the month as stocks have been affected by signs of progress in fighting the coronavirus and a recent resurgence in cases.

“For all the highs, for all the lows, volatility is going nowhere,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird in Milwaukee. “Maybe that’s the June lesson, these one-day moves look impressive, but 20 of them come together and you have nothing.”

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 579.5 points, or 2.32%, to 25,595.05, the S&P 500 gained 44.26 points, or 1.47%, to 3,053.31, and the Nasdaq Composite added 116.93 points, or 1.2%, to 9,874.15.

Each of the top 11 S&P sectors was in positive territory, led by industrial stocks.

The benchmark S&P 500 index has recovered approximately 36% from its closing low of March 23. Monday’s gains pushed the index above its 200-day moving average, a level of technical support that had fallen with last week’s decline.

Monday’s data showed that previously owned home purchase contracts recovered in the highest amount recorded in May, suggesting that the property market was beginning to change. Later this week, investors will focus on employment and consumer confidence data.

Still, Wall Street was looking for more stimulus measures to shore up the economy. Morgan Stanley analysts said an additional cash injection was central to the bank’s thesis for a “V” shaped economic recovery in the United States.

The BlackRock Investment Institute downgraded US equities to “neutral,” citing risks of fading fiscal stimulus, a widespread epidemic, and renewed trade tensions between the United States and China.

Although the House of Representatives passed a $ 3 trillion aid bill in May, the Republican-controlled Senate has not accepted the package and lawmakers are not expected to move on to another coronavirus bill until sometime in July.

Coty Inc jumped after the company said it would buy a 20% stake in Kim Kardashian West’s makeup brand for $ 200 million.

(Report by Chuck Mikolajczak in New York Edited by Matthew Lewis)