Stocks shrug off weekend riots, June begins on high note

U.S. equity markets closed higher on Monday even after riots over the weekend left a trail of destruction across America, damaging major retail storefronts and likely further delaying the reopening of businesses as lockdowns lift.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 91.91, or 0.36 percent, after falling by as many as 162 points in the opening minutes of trading. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were higher by 0.38 percent and 0.66 percent, respectively.

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Riots erupted across the country over the weekend, causing the deployment of 5,000 National Guard members in at least 15 states. The reinforcements were unable to prevent rioters from destroying property, setting fires and looting stores nationwide. Many cities, including New York, are now imposing curfews.

Meanwhile, China on Monday ordered state-run agriculture buyers to temporarily halt purchases of U.S. products including soybeans and pork, according to a Bloomberg report confirmed by FOX Business.

The decision, which puts the partial trade agreement in jeopardy, comes after President Trump on Friday ordered his administration to punish Beijing for passing a national security bill that bypassed Hong Kong’s legislature, effectively ending the “one country, two systems” governing principle that was guaranteed for the 50 years following Great Britain’s 1997 handover to China.

The major averages trimmed their early losses after the May reading of ISM Manufacturing climbed to 43.1 from last month's 41.5. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting a reading of 43.6.

Retailers were in focus after a weekend of looting swept stores in major shopping areas across the country. Target, Walmart and Nike are among the companies that have temporarily shuttered locations due to the violence.

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Gun-related names also garnered attention amid the riots with gun makers Sturm, Ruger & Co. and American Outdoor Brands, ammunition maker Vista Outdoor and police body cam and Taser stun gun maker Axon Enterprise all seeing gains.

Elsewhere, Elon Musk's brand got a boost lifting Tesla shares after the successful SpaceX-NASA mission.

And in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine, drugmaker Eli Lily dosed patients in a phase one study of a potential antibody treatment. Rival Gilead Sciences said its phase three study of experimental COVID-19 treatment remdesivir showed promise in five- and 10-day treatment groups.

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Coty shares soared after the beauty products maker reached a deal to sell a 60 percent stake in its hair business to private-equity firm KKR for $2.5 billion in net cash and a $1 billion direct investment.

West Texas Intermediate crude was fractionally lower closing at $35.55 per barrel, while gold also little changed hit $1,737 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys slid, running the yield on the 10-year note up to 0.662 percent.

In Europe, France’s CAC was higher by 1.43 percent while Britain’s FTSE advanced 1.48 percent. Germany’s DAX was closed for a holiday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng paced the advance in Asia, climbing 3.36 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite and Japan’s Nikkei gained 2.21 percent and 0.84 percent, respectively.

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