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Harvard University's endowment gained 7.3% in the fiscal year that ended in June, improving from the previous year's 6.5% return despite pandemic-fueled market volatility. The return also beat the Yale University endowment's 6.8% climb, marking the second consecutive year Harvard gained more than its rival. Several colleges raised funding concerns early in the year as the pandemic forced schools to rapidly shift to online learning. The fiscal-year gains confirmed that Harvard's $41.9 billion endowment was able to weather the market chaos. Other universities including Dartmouth, the University of California, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology notched healthy gains. Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
Harvard University's endowment posted a 7.3% gain through the fiscal year that ended in June as the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent recession roiled financial markets. The jump beat Yale University's 6.8% climb through the year, marking the second-straight year Harvard's $41.9 billion endowment returned more than its rival. The fund's performance also beats the previous year's 6.5% gain. University endowments posted a median return of 2.6% over the same period, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing Wilshire Associates data. That's less than the S&P 500's 7.5% gain. Several colleges, including Ivy League institutions, raised funding concerns early in the year as the pandemic forced schools to send students home and pivot to online courses. Some economists had posited that Harvard's endowment could shrink in 2020, but markets' resurgence through the summer saved the fund from a yearly loss. Read more: UBS says the chances of a Democratic sweep have risen to 50% as Trump and Biden square off in their first debate. These 9 assets will help investors profit if a blue wave comes crashing in. Harvard's year-over-year improvement comes as its CEO, N. P. Narvekar, continues to revamp its strategy. The school hired Narvekar from Columbia University in 2016, and the chief executive has since shrunk the endowment's internal trading and moved more capital to external managers. The performance update followed similarly positive reports from other universities. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology notched an 8.3% return over the fiscal year, while the University of California's endowment returned 5% over the period. The University of Virginia gained 5.3%, and Dartmouth University's fund returned 7.6%. Additional information on Harvard's endowment, its performance, and strategy updates are set to be released in October when the university publishes its yearly financial report. Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider: Tesla competitor Nio can surge another 28% amid transformation into 'next iconic auto brand,' Deutsche Bank says US consumer confidence soars the most in 17 years as recovery optimism rebounds JPMORGAN: The best defenses against stock-market crashes are delivering their weakest results in a decade. Here are 3 ways to adjust your portfolio for this predicament.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Epidemiologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths
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Summary List Placement US stocks climbed on Wednesday as investors digested a disorderly presidential debate and...Summary List Placement US stocks climbed on Wednesday as investors digested a disorderly presidential debate and wavering hopes for a near-term stimulus deal. All three major US indexes climbed through the day on renewed hopes for a deal. Stocks pared some gains after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell balked at Democrats' latest proposal. The trio of indexes notched their first monthly losses since March after failing to retrace early September's tech-led slumps. On the economic data front, the September ADP report said US private firms added 749,000 payrolls last month, handily beating the median economist estimate of 649,000 payrolls. Watch major indexes update live here. US equities climbed on Wednesday as investors bet on slight progress in stimulus-deal talks. Premarket futures traded negative until Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that he expected to reach a stimulus deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. All three major US indexes then opened in positive territory and gained through the session on revived hopes for a near-term compromise. Still, legislators have a ways to go before new spending proposals reach President Donald Trump's desk. House Democrats are set to vote on their $2.2 trillion measure tonight despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell balking at the bill's size. Pelosi and Mnuchin indicated they will continue to negotiate on a spending package. Here's where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Wednesday: S&P 500: 3,363.00, up 0.8% Dow Jones industrial average: 27,781.70, up 1.2% (329 points) Nasdaq composite: 11,167.51, up 0.7% Read more: BANK OF AMERICA: Buy these 29 high-quality value stocks primed to cash in on the economic recovery Despite Wednesday's gains, all three major indexes registered their first monthly declines since March. The gauges suffered throughout the month as investors balked at tech giants' lofty valuations and secured profits made in the market's summer rally. The positive market open was a turnaround from declines in the futures market late Tuesday as President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden sparred on stage for the first time. The chaotic presidential debate traded policy discussion for insult-tossing and interruptions, leaving some to wonder whether two more scheduled debates would still take place. Trump repeated claims that mail-in voting is fraudulent and stopped short of confirming that he would accept defeat should his opponent win in November. Several analysts have said a disputed election result would likely drive outsized market volatility and temporarily weigh on stocks. "It's hard to pick a winner, I think we're all losers as far as that debate is concerned, but Biden went into the debate clearly ahead in the polls and I'd be amazed if last night changed anything," Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at Oanda Europe, said in a note. "I guess he technically wins by default." Read more: Michael Smith returned 39% to investors last year and is outpacing most of his rivals again in 2020. He breaks down how his fund differentiates itself from the competition, and shares 4 of his top stock picks today. Indexes also pared some premarket losses after a better-than-expected reading from the monthly ADP report. Private US companies added 749,000 payrolls in September, the company said. That came in above the median economist estimate of 649,000 payrolls, according to Bloomberg data. The monthly ADP report serves as a precursor to the US government's nonfarm-payrolls report on Friday. That release is expected to show that the unemployment rate fell to 8.2% from 8.4%. Economists also expect it to show 850,000 payroll additions in September. Healthcare and consumer staples names drove indexes higher while energy and industrial stocks notched slight losses. Popular tech names including Apple, Microsoft, and Nvidia gained. Palantir sank below its opening price of $10 per share after surging immediately after its highly anticipated direct listing. Asana similarly declined after its own Wednesday debut. Disney sank after announcing plans to lay off 28,000 workers in the company's struggling resort business. It would be one of the largest layoffs during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more: JPMORGAN: The best defenses against stock-market crashes are delivering their weakest results in a decade. Here are 3 ways to adjust your portfolio for this predicament. Micron fell as gloomy forward guidance overshadowed the chipmaker's strong quarterly performance. Though the company nearly doubled its profit, investors dumped shares after Micron said it wasn't sure when chip sales to Huawei could resume; Huawei's purchases made up 10% of Micron's fourth-quarter sales. Spot gold sank after flirting with the $1,900 threshold, sliding as much as 0.9% to $1881.4800 per ounce. The precious metal has toyed with the key psychological level through the past week after losing the support in mid-September. Oil traded mixed. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 2.8%, to $40.37 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, fell 1.8%, to $40.30 per barrel, at intraday lows. Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 16 stocks best-positioned to take advantage of unprecedented Fed money printing and potentially higher inflation in the years ahead Record IPO frenzy will continue through October, NYSE president says US pending home sales leap to record as housing-market surge continuesJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why some Hong Kong skyscrapers have gaping holes
US tech stocks have overtaken the entire European stock market in market value as investors crowd...US tech stocks have overtaken the entire European stock market in market value as investors crowd into mega-caps to ride out the coronavirus pandemic. The tech sector is now worth $9.1 trillion, Bank of America said Thursday, while European stocks — including those in the UK and Switzerland — are worth a collective $8.9 trillion. The five largest US tech stocks — Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook — are worth a collective $7.5 trillion and make up nearly 24% of the S&P 500. Amazon has jumped the most in 2020 so far, while Alphabet's Class A shares have gained the least. Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories. US tech stocks surpassed the entire European stock market in market value after surging through the summer on outsize investor interest, Bank of America said in a note to clients. The sector has notched several extraordinary superlatives through the coronavirus pandemic. Tech names fueled the US market's rapid leap out of bearish territory and now host historically high investor crowding. Most recently, the group drove the S&P 500 to a record high, while the US remains deep in an economic slump and economists fear a double-dip recession. Tech stocks' market cap totaled $9.1 trillion as of Thursday, Bank of America said. That, for the first time, dwarfed the total value of all European stocks — including those listed in the UK and Switzerland — which stood at $8.9 trillion. Read more: MORGAN STANLEY: Buy these 12 underappreciated stocks that offer strong profit growth and are due for a surge To emphasize the speed at which tech stocks have grown, the bank noted that Europe's market cap in 2007 was roughly four times the size of the sector. Much of that value is concentrated in the top five tech giants: Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook. Together the companies make up nearly 24% of the S&P 500 and are worth roughly $7.5 trillion. Apple alone is valued at over $2 trillion. Investors largely shifted capital into tech giants at the start of the pandemic, betting that the mega-caps' cash piles and insulation from widespread lockdowns would outperform the market. Some strategists have deemed the names overcrowded, and others say they fear that antitrust measures could erode the companies' success. But that hasn't stopped the sector from continuing its run-up through the summer. Read more: Chris Mayer wrote the book on how to make 100 times your money with a single stock. He gives an in-depth assessment of the latest company that 'checks all my boxes.' Of the five giants, Amazon has surged the most through the year. The stock is up roughly 85% in 2020, thriving on a surge of online retail activity as Americans stayed at home. Alphabet's Class A shares are up the least year-to-date compared with its mega-cap peers. Still, the shares have gained roughly 22% in 2020 and more than 7% over just the past month. Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider: Savita Subramanian uses her philosophy major more than her math degree as Bank of America's US equity chief. She told us how it guides her investing strategy — and shared the drivers behind her career success. Credit Suisse fired a banker who forged a wealth-management client's documents and cost the firm $11 million, new report says US stocks extend record-breaking rally on healthy consumer-spending dataJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet
BANK OF AMERICA: Wall Street bullishness gauge spikes most in 2 years, signaling a 11% gain for S&P 500 within a year
Wall Street bullishness surged the most in two years last month as economic reopenings lifted investor...Wall Street bullishness surged the most in two years last month as economic reopenings lifted investor optimism, Bank of America said Wednesday. The firm's Sell Side Indicator gained to 55.8% from 54.9% in June, a sizable increase but still "far from the euphoria one sees at the end of bull markets." The reading also implies an 11% return for the S&P 500 over the next 12 months, the bank's strategists added. The gauge's "buy" and "sell" thresholds shrank to their narrowest gap in nearly two decades, according to the bank. Such a trend could form a bias against equities and create cheap dividend opportunities in the stock market. Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories. Bank of America's Sell Side Indicator notched its biggest increase in roughly two years as economic reopenings boosted risk appetites. The gauge of Wall Street bullishness jumped to 55.8% from 54.9% in June, bringing the metric just 0.3 percentage points below its 15-year average. The update implies an expected S&P 500 return of 11% over the next 12 months and factors into the firm's year-end target for the benchmark index. Though the leap signals an optimistic shift among investors, stock market emotions are still fairly lukewarm, the bank said. "This indicator is the most bullish of our five target models and continues to indicate that sentiment on stocks is still tepid, far from the euphoria one sees at the end of bull markets," the team led by Savita Subramanian wrote in a Wednesday note. Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 13 stocks that are poised to crush the market within the next 2 weeks as earnings season gets underway Recent price activity backs up such observations. After rallying hard through May, stocks ended June only slightly above where they began. Fears of a second wave of coronavirus and dried-up stimulus measures pushed investors back to safe havens. The trend also rears its head in the closing gap between "buy" and "sell" thresholds. Both thresholds had been falling for years, and the coronavirus pandemic has since shrunk the gap to its narrowest in nearly two decades, the strategists said. The shift is likely a result of yield scarcity, the pandemic's hit to retirement assets, and a "hot stove" mentality toward equities, they added. Read more: 'We may have a blow-up': Famed investor Jim Rogers explains how central bank 'madness' has the stock market hurtling towards another crash Still, the mild optimism creates a strong buying opportunity for US stocks. The Federal Reserve indicated in June that the current low-rate environment could last through 2022 to usher in a robust economic recovery. Such policy, when coupled with a growing bias against stocks, will allow investors to buy into safe dividend yield at low prices, Bank of America said. "The dividend yield of the S&P 500 is now at a multi-decade record multiple of bond yields, and whereas the sustainability of dividends has come into question amid the recession, we think a significant proportion of the S&P 500 offers sustainable dividend yields," the team wrote. Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider: Stock analysts are having a moment in the sun as the market gets flipped upside down. We spoke to 11 of the top-ranked on Wall Street to get their forecasts and single-stock picks. Pfizer leaps 6% after releasing positive trial results for coronavirus vaccine Top US manufacturing index jumped the most since 1980 in June as reopenings spurred growthJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Tax Day is now July 15 — this is what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time