• Mortgage applications to buy a home climbed by 5% last week
  • The U.S. has now surpassed 3 million cases of covid-19
  • Airline stocks struggled over reopening delays

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, although traders increasingly worry over the escalating number of covid-19 cases.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 177.1 points to 26,067.28, while the S&P 500 rose 24.62 points to 3,169.94 and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 148.61 points to 10,492.50.

Wednesday’s volume on the New York Stock Exchange totaled 4.83 billion shares with 1,748 issues advancing, 79 setting new highs, and 1,220 declining, with 11 stocks setting new lows .

Active movers were led by (NIO), Twitter (TWTR) and American Airlines (AAL).

Apple (AAPL) rose 2.33% to a record high after an analyst at Deutsche Bank hiked his price target.

But airline shares struggled.

Some advisers of President Donald Trump suggested the U.S. could destabilize Hong Kong’s currency peg to the dollar in order to punish China.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday that mortgage applications to buy a home climbed by 5% last week.

Mortgage rates declined to another record low as renewed fears of a coronavirus resurgence offset the impacts from a week of mostly positive economic data, such as June factory orders and payroll employment,” said Joel Kan, an MBA economist. “The average purchase loan size increased to $365,700 -- also another high -- as borrowers contend with limited supply and higher home prices.”

The U.S. has now surpassed 3 million cases of covid-19, with a spike of more than 60,000 cases on Tuesday. More than 131,000 Americans have died from the disease.

“No one’s denied we’ve had a huge jump in cases in certain hot spots,” said White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Wednesday. “[However], one cannot rule out: There’s a lot of scenarios here. We really don’t have any real experience in econometrics modeling for this type of thing... At the moment, we’ve created 8 million new jobs the last couple of months. ... Virtually every piece of data shows a V-shaped recovery.”

But Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, warned: “The COVID numbers in the U.S. remain troubling and this is beginning to create economic headwinds.”

“Concerns about rising U.S. Covid case counts continued to shake confidence in reopening efforts [around] the country,” Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group, told CNBC.

Overnight in Asia markets finished mixed, as China’s Shanghai Composite index climbed 1.74%; Japan’s Nikkei-225 fell 0.78%; and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng exchange rose 0.59%.

In Europe markets finished lower, as Britain’s FTSE-100 slipped 0.55%, while France’s CAC-40 dropped 1.24% and Germany’s DAX fell 0.97%.

Crude oil futures rose 0.59% at $40.86 per barrel, Brent crude slipped 0.09% at $43.25. Gold futures gained 0.48%.

The euro rose 0.51% at $1.1333 while the pound sterling climbed 0.57% at $1.2615.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose 0.46% to 0.653% while yield on the 30-year Treasury edged up 0.14% to 1.392%.