By CCN.com: U.S. stocks continued higher through the midday session on Friday, as upbeat corporate earnings offset lingering fears about global economic growth and a looming Brexit vote in the British parliament on Tuesday.
Dow Pounds Higher as Stocks Climb
Wall Street’s major indexes opened sharply higher on Friday, reflecting a strong pre-market session for U.S. stock futures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by as much as 307 points during the morning session. It was last up 239 points, or 1%, at 24,792.85.
The broad S&P 500 Index climbed 1% to 2,668.88, with ten of 11 primary sectors contributing to the gains. Materials stocks were in the driver’s seat midday, gaining 2.4% on average.
A strong performance in the technology sector lifted the Nasdaq Composite Index sharply higher. The tech-laden index climbed 1.3% to 7,164.97.
Stocks received a boost on upbeat corporate earnings after Starbucks Corp (BUCK) reported better than expected quarterly sales. Earlier this week, Procter & Gamble (PG), United Technologies Corp (UTX) and IBM Corp (IBM) posted stronger than expected results.
Brexit’s Enduring Impact
The United Kingdom’s divorce from the European Union has been a messy affair, and one that is about to get more complicated as lawmakers debate an alternative Brexit deal proposed by Prime Minister Theresa May. By May’s own admission, “Plan B” is, in fact, the original Brexit bill presented before parliament earlier this month, with one major exception: it will seek further concessions from the European Union on a plan that would avoid a hard border with Ireland.
British parliament will debate May’s plan on Tuesday, as well as more than half a dozen amendments proposed by opposition and Conservative Members of Parliament. Some of the amendments call for an extension of Article 50, which stipulates a two-year negotiating period with the EU.
Some lawmakers would like to steer the process away from the Conservative government and give parliament a chance to redefine exactly what Brexit entails. This could effectively nullify the outcome of the 2016 referendum by giving anti-Brexit lawmakers a legal avenue to remain in the EU.
A full list of the proposed amendments is provided by Reuters at the following link.
May’s Plan B motion is expected to go to vote in the early evening Tuesday.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart via TradingView.
Last modified: March 4, 2021 2:53 PM