Nasdaq, S&P 500 Reach New Record Closing Highs, Dow Posts Modest Loss
Stocks turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq and the S&P 500 still managed to reach new record closing highs. The narrower Dow climbed well off its worst levels of the day but still closed in the red.
The Nasdaq climbed 104.72 points or 0.7 percent to 14,174.14 and the S&P 500 rose 7.71 points or 0.2 percent to 4,255.15 after spending much of the day in negative territory. Meanwhile, the Dow dipped 85.85 points or 0.3 percent to 34,393.75.
The advance by the Nasdaq reflected strength among tech stocks, with big-name companies like Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Facebook (FB) posting notable gains.
Semiconductor stocks showed a strong move to the upside, driving the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up by 1.4 percent to a two-month closing high.
Strength was also visible among software stocks, as reflected by the 1 percent gain posted by the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index.
Meanwhile, the lower close by the Dow was partly due to weakness among financial giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS).
The losses by the Dow components reflected broader weakness in the banking sector, with the KBW Bank Index falling by 1.6 percent to its lowest closing level in well over a month.
Considerable weakness among steel, oil service and housing stocks also partly offset the strength in the technology sector.
The mixed performance on Wall Street came as traders looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.
The Fed is widely expected to leave its monetary policy unchanged, but traders will be looking for any clues the central bank is considering tapering its asset purchases.
Last Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed consumer price inflation reached the highest level in nearly thirteen years in May, although Fed officials have repeatedly downplayed the risks of prolonged inflation.
Traders will likely pay close attention to any changes to the Fed’s comments about inflation, with previous statements largely attributing rising inflation to “transitory factors.”
Any changes to the Fed’s projections for economic growth, inflation and interest rates are also likely to have a significant impact on the outlook for monetary policy.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Monday, although several major markets were closed for holidays. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.7 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi inched up by 0.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose by 0.2 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries moved to the downside after ending the previous session nearly unchanged. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 3.9 basis points to 1.501 percent.
A slew of U.S. economic data is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, including reports on producer price inflation, retail sales and industrial production.
The data may attract less attention than usual, however, as traders wait on the Fed’s announcement due Wednesday afternoon.
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