Nasdaq, S&P 500 Jump To New Record Intraday Highs In Morning Trading
Stocks have moved sharply higher over the course of morning trading on Wednesday, adding to the gains posted in the previous session. With the upward move, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have reached new record intraday highs.
Currently, the major averages are all firmly in positive territory. The Dow is up 230.99 points or 0.8 percent at 31,161.51, the Nasdaq is up 235.68 points or 1.8 percent at 13,432.86 and the S&P 500 is up 43.24 points or 1.1 percent at 3,842.15.
The spike by the Nasdaq is partly due to a sharp increase by shares of Netflix (NFLX), with the video streaming giant soaring by 14.4 percent.
Netflix has reached a record intraday high after reporting strong fourth quarter subscriber growth, with total subscribers exceeding 200 million.
The company reported fourth quarter earnings that missed estimates, although its revenues came in better than expected and Netflix said it will explore returning cash to shareholders through ongoing stock buybacks.
Big-name companies like Procter & Gamble (PG) and Morgan Stanley (MS) also reported better than expected quarterly results, extending the positive start to earnings season.
The rally on Wall Street also comes as former Vice President Joe Biden prepares to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.
Biden has called for additional stimulus and an accelerated coronavirus vaccine rollout, which has helped offset concerns about higher taxes and increased regulation under a Democratic administration.
The incoming president is expected to sign several executive orders shortly after taking office, including orders to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and end President Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban as well as the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border well.
Meanwhile, traders have largely shrugged off a report from the National Association of Home Builders showing an unexpected drop in homebuilder confidence in the month of January.
Software stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside in morning trading, driving the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index up by 2.6 percent.
Considerable strength has also emerged among retail stocks, as reflected by the 2.6 percent spike by the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index.
Gold stocks are also seeing significant strength on the day, resulting in a 2.5 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index.
The rally by gold stocks comes amid a sharp increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for February delivery surging up $27.20 to $1,867.40 an ounce.
Housing, transportation and computer hardware stocks are also seeing notable strength, while natural gas and banking stocks are bucking the uptrend.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Wednesday, although Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index bucked the uptrend and fell by 0.4 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.5 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped by 1.1 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.6 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.8 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are showing a lack of direction after ending the previous session nearly unchanged. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 1.094 percent.
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