U.S. Stocks Rebound as Microsoft Briefly Surpasses Apple in Value; Bitcoin SV Cracks Top-Ten Market Cap
U.S. stocks rose on Monday, setting the stage for a large relief rally following last week’s brutal declines as shares of discretionary and technology companies outperformed the market. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies came off their weekend lows as bitcoin SV cracked the top-ten market cap rankings.
Stocks Recover Sharply
The large-cap S&P 500 Index rose 1.6% to close at 2,673.78. All 11 primary sectors finished in positive territory, with shares of consumer discretionary companies leading the charge. The sector gained 2.7% on the day, followed closely by financials and information technology companies.
A strong performance in tech drove the Nasdaq Composite Index sharply higher. The tech-driven benchmark added 2.1% to 7,081.85.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 354.19 points, or 1.5%, to finish at 24,640.14. American Express Co (AXP) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT) were the Dow’s top performers.
Wall Street’s major indexes plunged between 3.8% and 4.4% last week, dragged lower by plunging energy shares and a rollover in technology companies. The week-long retreat pushed the S&P 500 and Dow into negative territory for the year, while the Nasdaq settled at its lowest level since April.
Microsoft Briefly Surpasses Apple; GM Slashes Workforce
For the first time since 2010, Microsoft overtook Apple Inc. (AAPL) as the world’s most valuable company, underscoring the iPhone maker’s struggles over the past two months. Apple’s market capitalization reached $812.6 billion on Monday, while Microsoft’s overall value rose to $812.93 billion. By the end of trading, Apple was once again higher in value but remained well off its summer peak of more than $1 trillion. Apple became the first publicly-traded U.S. company to reach that milestone.
In other news, General Motors Co (GM) announced it was closing five North American plants and slashing 15% of its salaried workforce in a major restructuring of its global business. The company, which is embracing a future of self-driving, electric automobiles will save $6 billion annually by the end of 2020.
Manufacturing facilities in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and Ontario (Canada) will be impacted by the closure. The news sent share prices soaring 4.8%.
Bitcoin SV Joins the Top Ranks
Cryptocurrencies staged a relief rally on Monday, with bitcoin SV catapulting to the no. 8 spot in the market cap rankings. The bitcoin SV coin reported daily growth of 22.1% to $103.82, according to CoinMarketCap. That gives the new chain a market cap of $1.8 billion.
Calvin Ayre, one of the primary backers of the controversial coin, announced last week that his camp no longer sought the bitcoin cash name, highlighting the permanent nature of the chain split. The announcement has seemingly put an end to the hash war, which may have compromised the health of the cryptocurrency market over the past two weeks. Over that stretch, digital asset values plunged by as much as $96 billion in one of the worst selloffs on record.
The crypto market cap reached a high of $132.2 billion on Monday, up sharply from the weekend low of around $115 billion. At the time of writing, the market was valued at roughly $122 billion.
Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
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