The S&P 500 rose on Tuesday, breaking above an all-time high that was set before the coronavirus pandemic sent the broader market index tumbling.
The index traded 0.3% higher and surpassed an intraday record of 3,393.52 set on Feb. 19. The S&P 500’s move into record territory came after the index flirted with its all-time closing high of 3,386.15 for more than a week.
The Nasdaq Composite also hit a record, trading 0.6% higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 39 points, or 0.1%.
Earlier this year, the S&P 500 tumbled more than 30% from its February record as the coronavirus pandemic sent profit expectations and economic activity tanking. However, the benchmark index for the U.S. stock market did not stay down for long.
Since hitting an intraday low on March 23, the S&P 500 has skyrocketed more than 54%. Those gains have been largely driven by sharp advances in Big Tech shares. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Microsoft are all up at least 27% year to date. Google-parent Alphabet has jumped more than 14% in that time period.
Here’s what traders were watching Tuesday:
- Home Depot said sales last quarter jumped 23% as consumers stuck in their homes increased do-it-yourself projects. Earnings and sales exceeded Wall Street expectations.
- Walmart’s earnings and revenue topped Wall Street estimates last quarter as same-store sales increased by 9.3%. E-commerce sales nearly doubled.
- U.S. housing starts for July totaled 1.496 million, easily topping an estimate of 1.24 million.
- Senate Republicans plan to introduce a narrow coronavirus relief plan that also includes $10 billion for the U.S. Postal Service, NBC News reported Monday evening.
- Tesla shares jumped 5.5% in premarket trading to $1,937. The stock is set to split 5-for-1 later this month.
The market had been stuck in a tight range as hopes for a new coronavirus stimulus deal dimmed with lawmakers unwilling to break a stalemate. Democrats and Republicans are holding their respective presidential nominating conventions this week and next.
Meanwhile, tensions between the U.S. and China still kept investors on edge. The Trump administration announced on Monday it will further tighten restrictions on Huawei, aimed at cracking down on the Chinese telecom giant access to commercially available chips.
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