Wall Street closes higher as momentum stocks push S&P 500, Nasdaq to new highs
By Stephen Culp NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks surged on Wednesday, pushing the S&P 500 to its fourth straight record closing high, as investors stayed focused on large-cap momentum stocks that have outperformed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The Nasdaq also set an all-time closing high, its 39th year-to-date, compared with a total of 31 reached in all of 2019
By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks surged on Wednesday, pushing the S&P 500 to its fourth straight record closing high, as investors stayed focused on large-cap momentum stocks that have outperformed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nasdaq also set an all-time closing high, its 39th year-to-date, compared with a total of 31 reached in all of 2019.
The Dow, which remains about 4% below its pre-COVID record, posted a more modest gain.
The MSCI world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS> surged past its February high to reach a record peak.
"Your three highest sectors are all the mega-cap tech and tech-related stocks," said Joseph Sroka, chief investment officer at NovaPoint in Atlanta. "So that notion of large-cap tech leading the market is in play today."
"There's this confidence that regardless of what happens with COVID, these companies have proven that they're open for business."
Supporting that thesis, Netflix Inc
Energy <.SPNY> was the biggest percentage loser among S&P 500 sectors, as Hurricane Laura bore down on the Texas-Louisiana coastline, posing the largest threat to U.S. energy assets since 2005's Hurricane Katrina. The coming storm, now a Category 4, prompted crude producers and refiners to shut down their facilities.
Commercial air carrier stocks lost altitude even after the White House announced President Donald Trump was weighing an executive action to avoid massive layoffs in the sector.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to unveil a new framework intended to soften the central bank's inflation stance, which Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to address during his remarks on Thursday as part of the Kansas City Fed's virtual Jackson Hole symposium.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 84.09 points, or 0.3%, to 28,332.53, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 35.19 points, or 1.02%, to 3,478.81 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 198.59 points, or 1.73%, to 11,665.06.
Communications services <.SPLRCL> led the 11 major sectors in the S&P in percentage gains.
Second-quarter earnings season has wound down, with 483 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 82.2% have beaten consensus, according to Refinitiv data.
In aggregate, analysts now see earnings for the April to June quarter having dropped by 29.9% year-on-year, according to Refinitiv.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co
Apparel retailer Nordstrom Inc
(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.