Trader Vincent Napolitano works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo: AP)
Investors extended a rally through a holiday-shortened day and pushed the S&P 500 index to its third straight record high close on Wednesday. Other major indexes also closed at record highs.
The rally follows a slight easing of trade tensions between the US and China. Both nations have agreed to refrain from new tariffs while they open a new round of negotiations. The development relieved some pressure on the market, though the trade war still looms over global economic growth.
The S&P 500 rose 22.81 points, or 1.8%, to close at 2,995.82. The third record high close in as many days also pushed the index closer to breaching the 3,000 mark.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average also reached a record, gaining 179.32 points, or 0.7%, to close at 26,966.
Technology stocks led the gains, helping the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite join the record-breaking club. The Nasdaq rose 61.14 points, or 0.8%, to 8,170.23.
“Clearly the trade truce with China has been a catalyst for the market even though there remain uncertainties,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.
Technology companies, which tend to do a lot of business with China, have been particularly sensitive to the trade war between the US and China. The sector has been broadly higher this week.
Cybersecurity software company Symantec surged 13.6% and did much of the heavy lifting on Wednesday as media reports suggest it is considering a sale to chipmaker Broadcom. Microsoft and Apple also made gains.
A broad mix of health care companies lifted that sector. Johnson & Johnson rose 1.5% and Merck rose 1.6%.
Communications and internet companies were also among the biggest gainers, with strong pushes from Facebook and Netflix.
Tesla rose 4.6% after telling investors that it delivered more electric cars in the second quarter than any three-month period in its history. The upbeat trading comes as the electric car maker struggles to meet production promises and to consistently make money.
Every sector in the S&P 500 made gains.
The records are adding to a yearlong rally. The S&P 500 is up more than 19% so far, while the Dow is up more than 15%. The Nasdaq is now up 23% for the year.
The market will be closed Thursday for the Independence Day holiday.
Investors will be on the lookout for the government’s closely watched monthly jobs report scheduled for Friday. The results of that report will likely be a factor in the Federal Reserve’s meeting later this month. The central bank has already said it is prepared to cut rates to shore up the US economy if trade disputes crimp growth.
“The market is going to expect a rate cut if there is a weak report,” Krosby said.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.95% from 1.97% Tuesday.
In commodities trading, the price of gold rose $12.90 to $1,420.90 per ounce, silver gained 10 cents to $15.25 per ounce and copper dropped 3 cents to $2.24 per pound.