The S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq registered record closing highs after a broadbased rally on Tuesday, as a clutch of better-than-expected earnings reports eased concerns about a slowdown.
In Tuesday’s trading the benchmark index finally erased all the steep losses it saw in late 2018 by ending the day above the previous record reached on 20 September. It closed just 0.3 per cent below its intra-day record of 2,940.91 hit on 21 September. The S&P has risen 17 percent so far this year, with help from a dovish Federal Reserve and hopes of a U.S.-China trade resolution as well as the upbeat start to the first-quarter earnings season.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 145.34 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 26,656.39, the S&P 500 gained 25.71 points, or 0.88 per cent, to 2,933.68 and the Nasdaq Composite added 105.56 points, or 1.32 per cent, to 8,120.82.
Profits of S&P 500 companies are still expected to decline 1.3 per cent in the first quarter, in what analysts say could be the first earnings contraction since 2016. However, forecasts have largely improved since the start of April. Amazon.com Inc, set to report results later this week, gained 2.2 per cent, providing the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.
Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with a rebound in healthcare, which gained 1.6 per cent, providing the biggest boost. The healthcare sector has been slammed with 6.7 per cent drop in the last two weeks on US policy concerns. The consumer staples sector was the only S&P sector that ended the day lower as investors favored riskier bets. The energy and utilities sectors were the next weakest performers on the day.Morning-Market-Note-Wednesday-24th-April