Tuesday Update

DB Live: US markets shrug off gloom to hit new high

10pm: US markets at record high

Traders on Wall St (pic: NYSE)

Wall Street’s S&P 500 index hit an all-time high today, completing its recovery from the stock market crash after the onset of the coronavirus crisis in February.

The index was up at 3,394.99 points at 09:48 am ET, topping the high of 3,393.52 hit on 19 February. It closed at 3,389.78, three points above its February closing record.

It means it has recovered from a 34% plunge in value during the lockdown and giving those who invested at the bottom some huge returns.

In June the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite was the first of the three major US stock indexes to reclaim record highs. It hit another record tonight, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is within about 5% of its February record.

The rally is proving to be both a surprise and a concern given the fundamentals of the US economy. It saw its sharpest quarterly contraction on record in the three months to July, amid widespread lockdowns.

Analysts say the recovery is driven by stimulus measures and by those who believe the economy has bottomed out and is therefore cheap. Those looking for returns see opportunities to make money on the stock markets with deposits earning miserly interest rates and home working putting a question mark over property.

4.45pm: London close

London was unable to match the performance of Wall Street which saw a new high today. The FTSE 100 index closed 50.82 points (0.83%) lower at 6,076.62.

11am: Awards cancelled

Homes for Scotland has cancelled its 2020 awards because of the restrictions on judging caused by the lockdown but has devised a new way of acknowledging performance.

Full story here

10am: Fintech funding

Glasgow-based Previse is among six fintech firms to have picked up a total of £20 million in funding from the Banking Competition Remedies Board.

Full story here

9.50am: Housing approved

Bancon Homes has obtained planning approval for the next phase of homes to be built at Maidencraig South, Aberdeen.

Full story here

7am: Marks & Spencer to axe 7,000 jobs

Marks & Spencer is to cut 7,000 jobs over the next three months in a major shake-up of its operations.

Why M&S needs the Ocado deal to fly – full story here

Persimmon sees rebound

Persimmon homes

The housebuilder said it was reinstating its dividend thogh re-tax profits fell by 42% to £292.4m. It said it ended the period in a strong financial position with cash of £821m.

Full story here

Wood Group protects margins

Robin Watson

The energy services group slipped go an $11m half year loss against a $13m profit last time.

Full story here

1am: Oracle enters TikTok talks

Oracle has held preliminary talks with TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, and is considering buying the app’s operations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, according to the Financial Times.

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