Nasdaq, S&P 500 Reach New Record Closing Highs

Stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading day on Tuesday following the mixed performance seen in the previous session. With the upward move, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached new record closing highs.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a particularly strong advance on the day, surging up 164.21 points or 1.4 percent to 11,939.67. The Dow climbed 215.61 points or 0.8 percent to 28,635.66 and the S&P 500 advanced 26.34 points or 0.8 percent to 3,526.65.

Technology stocks saw continued strength on the day, with Apple (AAPL) helping to lead the sector higher after yesterday’s stock split.

Shares of Zoom Video (ZM) also spiked after the video conferencing company reported better than expected second quarter results and raised its full-year guidance.

Adding to the positive sentiment, the Institute for Supply Management released a report showing manufacturing activity in the U.S. expanded at a faster rate in the month of August.

The ISM said its purchasing managers index rose to 56.0 in August from 54.2 in July, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 54.5.

“After the coronavirus (COVID-19) brought manufacturing activity to historic lows, the sector continued its recovery in August,” said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

He added, “Demand and consumption continued to drive expansion growth, with inputs representing near- and moderate-term supply chain difficulties.”

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Commerce Department showed construction spending inched up by much less than expected in the month of July.

Sector News

Chemical stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading session, driving the S&P Chemical Sector Index up by 3.1 percent to a record closing high.

Substantial strength was also visible among steel stocks, as reflected by the 2.5 percent spike by the NYSE Arca Steel Index. The index ended the session at its best closing level in over six months.

The strong upward move by steel stocks came following data showing China’s manufacturing sector continued to expand in August.

Housing stocks also saw considerable strength on the day, resulting in a 2.6 percent jump by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index.

Semiconductor, retail and software stocks also showed notable moves to the upside, while biotechnology, gold and pharmaceutical stocks bucked the uptrend.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index closed just below the unchanged line, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.4 percent.

The major European markets also ended the day mixed. While the German DAX Index edged up by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index tumbled by 1.7 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries showed a notable turnaround after seeing early weakness. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 2.1 basis points to 0.672 percent after reaching a high of 0.729 percent.

Looking Ahead

Trading on Wednesday may be impacted by reaction to payroll processor ADP’s report on private sector employment in the month of August.

The Federal Reserve is also scheduled to release its Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in the twelve Fed districts.

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