Dow, S&P 500 Reach New Record Intraday Highs, Nasdaq Nearly Unchanged

Dow, S&P 500 Reach New Record Intraday Highs, Nasdaq Nearly Unchanged

August 17, 2021

Stocks have moved moderately higher in morning trading on Tuesday following the mixed performance seen in the previous session. With the upward move, the Dow and the S&P 500 have reached new record intraday highs.

Currently, the Dow is up 155.91 points or 0.4 percent at 35,257.76 and the S&P 500 is up 11.35 points or 0.3 percent at 4,443.70. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has pulled back near the unchanged line and is up just 0.33 points at 14,860.51.

The modest strength on Wall Street may partly reflect continued economic optimism following last Friday’s upbeat monthly jobs data.

News that the Senate is poised to approve a $1 trillion infrastructure bill later today may also have generated some positive sentiment.

Buying interest has remained somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to the release of a Labor Department report on consumer price inflation in the month of July on Wednesday.

Economists currently expect consumer prices to climb by 0.5 percent in July after advancing by 0.9 percent in June. The annual rate of consumer price growth is expected to slow to 5.3 percent from 5.4 percent.

Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, are expected to rise by 0.4 percent in July following a 0.9 percent increase in June. Year-over-year core price growth is expected to drop to 4.3 percent from 4.5 percent.

The Labor Department is scheduled to release a separate report on producer price inflation in the month of July on Thursday.

The inflation data could have an impact on the outlook for monetary policy, although the next Federal Reserve meeting is not scheduled until September.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, although steel stocks have shown a significant move to the upside, driving the NYSE Arca Steel Index up by 1.7 percent.

Considerable strength is also visible among transportation stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent gain being posted by the Dow Jones Transportation Average.

Kansas City Southern (KSU) has helped lead the sector higher after Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) raised its offer to acquire the railway operator to about $300 per share.

Energy stocks are also seeing notable strength, rebounding along with the price of crude oil. Crude for September delivery is spiking $2.31 to $68.79 a barrel after tumbling $1.80 to $66.48 a barrel on Monday.

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 1.3 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 1.2 percent.

On the other hand, gold stocks are seeing further downside amid a continued decrease by the price of the precious metal, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index falling by 1.4 percent to a five-month low.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.2 percent as trading resumed following a long weekend, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has edged up by 0.2 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending the downward trend seen over the past several sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.2 basis points at 1.339 percent.

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