S&P 500, Nasdaq close at records as tech stocks soar on investor optimism

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Traders work on the floor at the opening bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on March 18, 2020 in New York.

US stocks closed mostly higher with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hitting record highs. The Dow pulled back slightly to finish in the red. Shares of Apple rose 3.2% to hit an all-time high, while Amazon, Facebook, and Tesla all gained over 2%.

The S&P 500 is up approximately 20% for the year without so much as a 5% pullback, noted Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial. The benchmark index has made 53 new all-time highs so far. Only two other years- 1964 and 1995-saw more than 50 new highs before August was over, Detrick said.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Monday:

In a long-awaited speech Friday, Fed chair Jerome Powell reiterated that the central bank could start tapering asset purchases in 2021 but will likely not raise interest rates until at least 2023 as it continues to monitor the progress of the economic recovery out of the pandemic.

The tech rally that was in full view today still has room to run, according to Wedbush’s Dan Ives. The analyst said that further multiple expansion and strong fundamentals will boost tech stocks up another 7%-10% for the rest of 2021. Additionally, a rotation out of Chinese stocks amid ongoing regulatory concerns will create a “nirvana set up” for FAANG names.

A new roster of meme stocks is emerging. Support.com and Vinco Ventures extended their three-day rallies to over 100% on Monday.

Robinhood tumbled 7% after SEC chairman Gary Gensler told Barron’s banning payment for order flow is “on the table.”

Affirm soared as much as 43% in early morning trading after the buy-now-pay-later fintech partnered with Amazon. Amazon customers will now be able to split purchases over $50 into monthly payments.

Legendary investor John Paulson, whose bet against the housing market in 2008 made him a billionaire, said cryptocurrencies are in a bubble and will eventually prove to be worthless.

West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.38% to $69. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 0.77%, to $73.26 per barrel.

Gold fell 0.35% to $1,813.10 per ounce.

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S&P 500, Dow close on the brink of records as investors bet on the Fed’s continued economic support after weak GDP data

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US stocks rose Thursday as the latest batch of economic data eased investor concerns over inflation and the Federal Reserve’s plan to eventually taper bond purchases. All three major indexes closed just shy of record highs.

Robinhood fell as much as 12% to $33.35 a share before paring losses in a volatile first day of public trading. The company priced its IPO late Wednesday night at $38 per share, representing the bottom end of its targeted range and giving Robinhood a valuation of $32 billion.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 4 p.m. ET close on Thursday:

The S&P 500’s flirtation with all-time highs may be a sign to sell, according to Bank of America. The firm said in a Tuesday note that investors should take advantage of the benchmark’s strength and sell stocks to raise cash as bearish indicators begin to pile up.

In economic news, US gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 6.5% in the second quarter of 2021, missing the 8.5% jump estimated by economists. The quarter placed GDP above its pre-pandemic peak for the first time.

Meanwhile, jobless claims fell to 400,000 last week, lower than the prior week but higher than economists expected.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.8%, to $73.68 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, increased 1.9%, to $76.15 per barrel, at intraday highs.

Gold climbed as much as 1.4% to $1,832.71 per ounce.

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US stocks retreat from records as investors mull economic-recovery progress and new Powell comments

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell arrives to speak to reportersin Washington, U.S., March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

US stocks slipped from record highs as investors digest Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s recent comments and prepare for a busy week ahead for economic data and earnings.

In an interview with CBS, which aired on Sunday, Powell said that the US is at an “inflection point” and is likely to see a boom in growth and hiring, but still faces threats from COVID-19.

“The outlook has brightened substantially,” he told CBS’s “60 minutes.” Yet he said there was a risk that coronavirus starts spreading again.

He also discussed the outlook for a digital dollar, and said the the US central bank is working hard on researching one as nervousness grows in some quarters about China’s rapid development of its own digital currency.

As the economy continues to recover from the pandemic, investors are focused in on inflation data that is due Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters expect the consumer price inflation index to jump 2.5% from 1.7% year on year in February.

On the earnings front, Wall Street behemoths Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Wells Fargo are due to report on Wednesday.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Monday:

Bitcoin rose as much as 2.6% to $61,229 as the crypto world prepares for Coinbase’s direct listing on Wednesday. The surge took the coin close to its all-time high of $61,742 reached on March 1.

West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 1.7%, to $60.31 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 1.6% to $63.97 a barrel.

Gold slipped 0.5%, to $1,737 per ounce.

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