DAMIAN J. TROISE and ALEX VEIGA AP Business Writers" />
published on February 1, 2021 - 1:37 PM
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Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Monday, recovering some of the ground they lost last week in their biggest weekly drop since October. The S&P 500 index rose 1.6%. Investors large and small continued to focus on GameStop and other stocks targeted by online traders hoping to inflict damage on hedge funds. Investors are watching negotiations in Washington over President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion economic aid package. Hopes for aid, along with the Federal Reserve’s pledge to keep low-cost credit plentiful, have carried the S&P 500 and other major indexes to record highs.

The price of silver rose 9%.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Stocks are climbing in afternoon trading Monday, following a bumpy week that left the market with its worst weekly loss since October. Investors large and small continued to focus on GameStop and other stocks targeted by online traders hoping to inflict damage on hedge funds.

Meanwhile the price of silver jumped 8% as trading in the precious metal became another target for online investors seeking to go up against big Wall Street players. It was up as much as 10% earlier in the day to hit its highest price in eight years.

The S&P 500 rose 1.8% as of 2:36 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 333points, or 1.1%, to 30,316 and the Nasdaq composite was up 2.6%. The gains were broad, with technology companies leading the way higher. Communication stocks and a variety of companies that rely on direct consumer spending such as Starbucks and AutoZone also helped lift the market.

Shares of GameStop were down 24.9%, in what has become a typical move for a company that has regularly seen double-digit swings most of the last two weeks. Trading of the retailer was still limited on trading platforms like Robinhood.

“Definitely having easy access to information, encouragement on social media and a very easy trading experience has gotten more people involved,” said Sunitha Thomas, national portfolio advisor at Northern Trust Wealth Management. “All of that combined is going to lead to more volatility as investors with a shorter outlook are a bigger part of the daily trading volume.”

Investors are watching negotiations in Washington over President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion economic aid package. Hopes for aid, along with the Federal Reserve’s pledge to keep low-cost credit plentiful, have carried the S&P 500 and other major indexes to record highs.

“Ultimately, what’s going to drive this recovery is consumer spending coming back,” Thomas said.

Markets were also rattled last week by AstraZeneca’s announcement it would supply the European Union with fewer than half the promised doses, which prompted the EU to impose export controls. On Sunday, AstraZeneca promised to increase European supplies and start delivery earlier. This helped boost shares of European companies on Monday. Germany’s DAX rose 1.4%, France’s CAC-40 gained 1.2% and the U.K.’s FTSE-100 added 0.9%.

Investors have bid up stocks in expectation the rollout of coronavirus vaccines would allow global business and travel to return to normal. That optimism has been dented by new infection spikes and disruptions in vaccine deliveries.


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