Stocks Able to Close Higher After Rocky Session…..

U.S. equities finished higher in a choppy trading session, as investors weighed a slew of data and events including promising news out of the health care sector in its fight to find an answer to the virus, mixed earnings results, upbeat housing data, and elevated U.S.-China tensions. Texas Instruments’ larger-than-expected profit garnered scrutiny as a previously-unreported gain is making the Street’s comparison difficult to measure, while United Airlines’ profits and revenues plunged due to the pandemic disruption. Meanwhile, Pfizer and BioNTech announced a $1.95 billion deal with the U.S. government for production and delivery of its future coronavirus vaccine. Treasury yields were mixed following a jump in existing home sales and a rise in mortgage applications, and the U.S. dollar continued to fall, while crude oil prices were nearly unchanged and gold continued its rally. European equities closed lower, while markets in Asia were mixed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 165 points (0.6%) to 27,006, the S&P 500 Index increased 19 points (0.6%) to 3,276, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 26 points (0.8%) to 10,706. In moderate volume, 829 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 4.0 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ. WTI crude oil inched $0.02 lower to $41.90 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was unchanged at $1.28 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price jumped $26.67 to $1,868.58 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was down 0.2% at 94.93.

Economic calendar offers upbeat housing data…..

Existing home sales rebounded at a record pace in June, jumping 20.7% month-over-month (m/m) to an annual rate of 4.72 million units, compared to the Bloomberg expectation of a rise to 4.75 million units from May’s unrevised 3.91 million rate. Sales rose m/m in all four regions, bouncing back from three-straight months of declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic disruption, with the West seeing the greatest recovery. Sales of single-family homes and purchases of condominiums and co-ops were up m/m, but down on a year-over-year (y/y) basis. The median existing home price was up 3.5% from a year ago to $295,300, marking the 100th straight month of y/y gains. Unsold inventory came in at a 4.0-months pace at the current sales rate, down from 4.5-months in May and below the 4.3-months pace a year earlier. Existing home sales reflect contract closings instead of signings and account for a large majority of the home sales market.

National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “The sales recovery is strong, as buyers were eager to purchase homes and properties that they had been eyeing during the shutdown,” adding, “This revitalization looks to be sustainable for many months ahead as long as mortgage rates remain low and job gains continue.”

Treasuries were mixed, as the yield on the 2-year note gained 2 bps to 0.16%, while the yield on the 10-year note ticked 1 bp lower to 0.59% and the 30-year bond rate was down 2 bps at 1.29%.

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