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US: Nasdaq edges to record as investors monitor China virus
[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished mostly higher on Thursday, with the Nasdaq edging to a fresh record, despite worries over the coronavirus in China.
Stocks opened solidly lower on worries the sickness could spread and dent the global economy. But sentiment shifted after the World Health Organization stopped short of calling the outbreak in China a public health emergency.
"We started down in the morning because of the move the Chinese made to quarantine cities in varying degrees," said LBBW's Karl Haeling.
"And then equities recovered after the WHO failed to declare a bigger crisis than it is," he added.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.1 per cent at 29,160.06.
The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.1 per cent to 3,325.54, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.2 per cent close at 9,402.48 and overtake the January 17 record by about 14 points.
Among companies reporting results, Procter & Gamble dipped 0.5 per cent after reporting better-than-expected profits despite slowing revenue growth. Briefing.com praised the report, but said P&G shares are being pressured by concerns over high valuation.
Comcast dropped 3.8 per cent after fourth-quarter profits beat expectations. A note from Stifel said Comcast is a "very well-run company," but "faces ongoing challenges in a rapidly changing video landscape" due to the streaming trend that has eroded conventional cable.
The analysts endorsed Netflix, which rose 7.2 per cent after Stifel predicted shares would double as it lacks "the burden of a legacy business to protect."
Among other companies reporting results, American Airlines rose 5.4 per cent, Texas Instruments added 0.6 per cent and Union Pacific rose 3.5 per cent.