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Dow Ekes Out Modest Gains After UBS Downgrade Ravages Key Stock

Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:45 PM
Sam Bourgi
Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:45 PM

By CCN.com: The Dow and broader U.S. stock market clinched modest gains on Thursday, overcoming a rocky session that saw shares of Verizon Communications (VZ) fall sharply after UBS downgraded the telecom giant.

Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq Flip Green

Wall Street’s major indexes turned higher in the latter stages of Thursday’s session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 43.47 points, or 0.2%, to 25,169.88.

Dow Jones
Dow Jones Industrial Average risks steeper fall below 25,000. | Source: Yahoo Finance.

The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks gained 0.2% to 2,788.86. Seven of 11 primary sectors finished higher, led by information technology.

A strong performance in the technology sector lifted the Nasdaq Composite Index to a gain of 0.3% where it settled at 7,567.72.

Shares of Verizon plunged 2.4% after UBS analyst John Hodulik said the company is unlikely to benefit from the switch to 5G due to a slow rollout of the new technology. He downgraded the stock  and said its current price is probably as good as it gets.

GDP Downgrade Not Enough to Frighten the Bulls – For Now

The U.S. economy performed better than expected in the first quarter despite a modest revision to the growth data. Revised estimates from the Commerce Department on Thursday revealed  that gross domestic product – the value of all goods and services produced in the economy – expanded 3.1% annually in the March quarter. That was slightly higher than expected, but a tad lower than the initial estimate of 3.2%.

The growth clip puts the United States in an enviable position as far as developed economies go. The Eurozone economy expanded just 1.2% annually in the first quarter, unchanged from the October-December period. Meanwhile, Japan’s GDP accelerated just 0.8% year-over-year after barely growing in the previous two quarters.

But downside risks to the U.S. economy still remain. Various government departments have reported dismal economic data at the start of the second quarter, with consumer spending, factory production, and home sales all dropping.

A prolonged U.S.-China trade war is expected to impact everything from exports to consumption as Americans pay more for goods produced in the world’s second-largest economy. Silicon Valley is also on edge after China threatened to limit the export of rare earth minerals, a move that could ravage the technology and defense industries.

Click here for a real-time Dow Jones Industrial Average price chart.