Stocks rise on Wall Street, clawing back bit of 4-week slump

A woman wearing face mask walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index. U.S. stocks are rallying in early trading, as Wall Street claws back some of its sharp and sudden September losses. PHOTO CREDIT: Vincent Yu

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are rallying in early trading, as Wall Street claws back some of its sharp and sudden September losses.

The S&P 500 was 1.4% higher after the first 10 minutes of trading, following up on its first four-week losing streak in more than a year. Momentum has been ultra-quick to shift recently, though, with stocks veering in several directions through the day. The market has had several early gains quickly vanish.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 402 points, or 1.5%, at 27,576, as of 8:40 a.m. Central time, and the Nasdaq composite was 1.6% higher.

One of the big worries hurting stocks this month has been fears that the market climbed too high and got too expensive through its powerful summer rally. But several companies announced big mergers and acquisitions, which show that at least some CEOs see value at current prices.

Devon Energy rose 3% and WPX Energy climbed 4.7% after they agreed to combine in an all-stock deal.

Cleveland-Cliffs jumped 8.9% after it said it will buy the U.S. business of steelmaking and mining giant ArcelorMittal for $1.4 billion. ArcelorMittal’s U.S.-listed stock rose 9.4%.

Another big gainer was Uber, which rose 4.2% after it won an appeal that will allow it to keep operating in London.

The market’s gains were widespread, with nearly all the stocks in the S&P 500 higher. Big Tech stocks, which have been getting the most criticism for getting too expensive following their strong pandemic run, were also higher.

Apple rose 1.5%, Microsoft gained 1.8% and Amazon rose 1.6%. These companies are massive, which gives their stock movements much more sway over the S&P 500 and broad-market indexes than other stocks.

This morning’s rebound for stocks trims September’s loss for the S&P 500 to 4.6%. Several factors have been behind the abrupt drop, which halted what had been a remarkable rise on Wall Street that began in late March.

Many of those factors are still in place, which means analysts along Wall Street say the tumultuous trading may not be over.

Investors are still waiting for Congress to deliver another round of support for the economy after extra unemployment benefits for workers and other stimulus expired. Tensions are still rising between the United States and China. And the upcoming U.S. presidential election still means plenty of uncertainty for investors, from what it could do to corporate tax rates to how long markets will need to wait until after Election Day to discover the winner.

Countering those uncertainties, though, is the tremendous support that the Federal Reserve is continuing to provide markets and the economy. So are investors’ rising hopes that a vaccine for COVID-19 could become available as soon as early 2021.

European stock markets rallied strongly, with the Germany DAX returning 2.9% and the French CAC 40 rising 2.2%. The FTSE 100 in London added 1.7%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.3%, as did South Korea’s Kospi. The Hang Seng in Hong rose 1%, and stocks in Shanghai slipped 0.1% after China’s statistical bureau reported that industrial profits rose 19% in August from a year earlier, as the economy recovered from the pandemic downturn.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped to 0.65% from 0.66%.