S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite Index close at record highs.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market rallied on Wednesday, as tech shares drove two of the major indexes to new record highs.

All of Wall Street’s major indexes finished in positive territory, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) climbed 83.61 points, or 0.3%, to 28,332.05.

The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks surged 1% to 3,478.76, a new all-time high. Gains were mainly concentrated in five of 11 primary sectors, with communication services climbing 3.7%. The information technology group rose by 2.1%. Consumer discretionary added 1.5%.

Several sectors reported heavy losses. Energy stocks fell 2.2%, utilities declined 1.2% and real estate finished 0.7% lower.

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) jumped 1.7% to 11,666.24, another all-time high.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) rose slightly on Wednesday. The so-called “investor fear index” peaked at 23.10 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average.

On the data front, U.S. durable goods orders rose much faster than expected last month, a sign that the economy was rebounding from its pandemic lows.

Durable goods orders 11.2% in July, the Department of Commerce reported Wednesday. Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a key gauge for business spending plans, rose 1.9%, official data showed.

The Final Word: The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be slowing in the United States. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 37,000 new cases on Wednesday. The case-count fell below 35,000 earlier in the week. 

Stocks finished mostly higher on Tuesday, led by communication services.


U.S. stocks finished mostly higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 (SPY) and Nasdaq (QQQ) hitting fresh records on the back of rising communication shares.

Wall Street’s major indices diverged at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) falling 59.71 points, or 0.2%, to 28,248.55.

The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks gained 0.4% to close at 3,443.65, a new all-time high. Gains were mainly concentrated in six of 11 primary sectors, with communication services leading the pack. Health care companies also outperformed the broader market.

On the opposite side of the ledger, shares of energy and utility companies declined sharply.

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Rising communication shares led the Nasdaq Composite Index to higher ground. The tech-heavy average closed up 0.8% at 11,466.47.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) continued to trade in a narrow range just above the historic average. The so-called “investor fear index” hovered between 21.53 and 23.43. It would eventually settle down 1.1% at 22.13.

In economic data, new home sales rose much faster than expected in July, offering more evidence of a rebounding real estate market. New home sales climbed 13.9% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 901,000, the Department of Commerce reported Tuesday.

Separately, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices rose 3.5% annually in June.

The Final Word: The United States appears to be turning a corner in its fight against Covid-19. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported fewer than 35,000 new cases on Monday. That’s well below the more than 78,000 daily infections seen during the height of the pandemic in July.

Volatility Index Flatlines as Stocks Extend Rally

CBOE VIX Volatility Index little changed on Monday.
The CBOE VIX (VXX) traded within a narrow range on Monday, as stocks extended their record-breaking rally.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, commonly known as the VIX, traded between 21.25 and 23.18 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. It would eventually settle down 0.8% at 22.35.

In stocks, the large-cap S&P 500 Index (SPY) rose 1% on Monday.

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN: (NYSEARCA:VXX) Designed to offer exposure to the S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures Index Total Return. The Index uses CBOE Volatility Index futures by way of a long position in the first and second-month VIX Futures contracts. VXX advanced 0.5%.

ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures (SVXY) to track the inverse daily performance of the S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures Index. SVXY declined 0.2%.

ProShares UltraShort Term VIX Futures: (UVXY) UVXY is designed to deliver 1.5X (leveraged) returns of the day’s moves in the S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures Index. It tacks the two front months of the futures contract. UVXY advanced 0.5%.

The Final Word: Investors continue to eye the global spread of COVID-19. As of Monday, more than 23.5 million people had been infected with the novel disease, including 5.7 million in the United States.