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S&P 500, Nasdaq notch all-time closing highs ahead of Jackson Hole

Stock MarketsAug 25, 2021 06:32PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A street sign for Wall Street is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, New York, U.S., July 19, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo 2/2

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street gained ground again on Wednesday, with chipmakers and financials helping to push the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record closing highs as investors look to the upcoming Jackson Hole Symposium for assurances that Federal Reserve's timeline for policy tightening remains intact.

With few negative catalysts to sour the risk-on sentiment, all three major U.S. indexes ended the session modestly higher.

"Positive news on vaccination approvals, and expectations that the Fed won’t shock markets at Jackson Hole, are helping to keep equity prices higher," said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York, who added "it's a very quiet market as many investors are sitting on the beach this week."

Rising U.S. Treasury yields boosted rate sensitive financials, and sectors that stand to gain most from economic revival - smallcaps, chips and transports - were outperforming the broader market.

Days after the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, companies and institutions are moving toward either mandated inoculation, or penalization for those who forego the shot.

The Pentagon and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) are the latest to enact such measures, with Ford Motor (NYSE:F) Co and others potentially following suit.

For an interactive graphic on global vaccine deployment and new infection rates, click here.

The session marked the S&P 500's 51st record high close so far this year.

Analysts polled by Reuters, however, see the stock market staying rangebound for the remainder of 2021, with the S&P 500 ending the year little changed as the pandemic recovery, along with corporate earnings growth, lose steam.

"Following a long run, equity indexes have cooled off as the next engine of growth is unclear," Carter at Lenox Wealth Advisors added. "Fiscal and monetary stimulus may have lost their oomph to push markets higher still."

Tame economic data, including flat new orders for core capital goods, reinforced the notion that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is unlikely to hint at a shortened timeline for policy tightening at the virtual Jackson Hole Symposium, due to get underway on Friday.

"(The) expectation is that Fed won't scare markets, and will announce only a cautious tapering," Carter said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39.24 points, or 0.11%, to 35,405.5, the S&P 500 gained 9.96 points, or 0.22%, to 4,496.19 and the Nasdaq Composite added 22.06 points, or 0.15%, to 15,041.86.

Financials were the clear winners among 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, gaining more than 1%. Healthcare stocks suffered the largest percentage decline.

Chipmakers Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) Corp and Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) rose 1.9% and 1.2%, respectively, and along with mega-cap growth stocks Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), provided the biggest boost to the Nasdaq.

Nordstrom Inc (NYSE:JWN) tumbled 17.6% after the department store operator posted a 6% decline in quarterly revenue from pre-pandemic levels.

Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) Inc announced a special dividend and raised its annual sales and profit forecast, sending its shares surging 13.3%.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.49-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.31-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 63 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 125 new highs and 33 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 8.29 billion shares, compared with the 9.00 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

S&P 500, Nasdaq notch all-time closing highs ahead of Jackson Hole
 

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Comments (9)
Ard Bt
Ard Bt Aug 25, 2021 5:30PM ET
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How much paper Fed is printing just to pump the stock market? This needs to stop stock market needs correction.
John Walker
BURT Aug 25, 2021 3:13PM ET
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Pursche is right. This is a bubble and it will continue to grind higher. Every dip gets bought back to new highs in days so bears are extinct. Companies continue have good earnings but you are paying more for those earnings than pre-COVID. Im not participating at these levels because there will be a day when everyone looks for the exits.
Ricardo Diogo
Rcd72 Aug 25, 2021 12:47PM ET
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fake market.... fed should publish its asset purchases ! this market is as free as Northern Korea.... the government does the purchases....
Chandrakant Shah
Chandrakant Shah Aug 25, 2021 12:32PM ET
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Who is muted. S&P hit another milestone of 4500. People yelling are fools, and not these manipulators
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Aug 25, 2021 12:06PM ET
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NASDAQ magically jumps out of the red, as the flagrant manipulation of this laughable market continues.  Is that the piper I hear coming down the path?  Criminally manipulated joke.
Pavan Kumar
Pavan Kumar Aug 25, 2021 12:00PM ET
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before 20k it should come to 10-12 k
shakeel khan
shakeel khan Aug 25, 2021 12:00PM ET
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R u sure
Patrick Joly
Patrick Joly Aug 25, 2021 12:00PM ET
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of corse, he said it.
Bill Ackman
Bill Ackman Aug 25, 2021 11:52AM ET
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Just send Nasdaq to 20K :D :D why wait
Paul Richard
Paul Richard Aug 25, 2021 11:52AM ET
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16.5k or higher by early 2022 going to happen.
Critical Riff
Critical Riff Aug 25, 2021 11:52AM ET
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yeah, then next target 5k
Pavan Kumar
Pavan Kumar Aug 25, 2021 11:48AM ET
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huge manipulation in markets
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Aug 25, 2021 9:47AM ET
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And the props go under the NASDAQ to save the trillions of dollars it took them to criminally inflate it above 15K, as the US Ponzi Scheme, greatest financial fraud in history, and biggest investment joke in the world, maintains it's path of financial destruction.
 
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