S&P 500 notches 4-day winning streak as tech stocks lead; Apple hits record

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday as the technology sector climbed higher.

The S&P 500 gained 0.46 percent to close at 2,457.59, with information technology leading eight sectors higher. The S&P also posted a four-day winning streak, its longest since late May.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 1.05 percent to 6,368.31, leading other major U.S. indexes, and notched a three-day winning streak. Lifting the index higher were shares of Netflix, which advanced more than 3 percent after analysts at Bernstein said that Disney pulling its content from the platform wouldn’t hinder Netflix’s stock performance.

“Almost all of Netflix’s future growth will come from international … Investors who were already skeptical (or bullish) on int’l growth will remain so – but Disney’s U.S. non-renewal should have no effect on that view,” analyst Todd Juenger said in a note to clients.

Shares of Apple also contributed to the Nasdaq’s gains, rising 0.2 percent to hit a record high earlier in the session.

Other major stocks in the sector also rose, including Facebook and Google-parent Alphabet. Tech is by far the best-performing sector this year, advancing more than 20 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average, meanwhile, rose 27.06 points to close at 21,892.43, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most to the gains.

Symbol
Name
Price
Change
%Change
DJIA Dow Industrials 21892.43
27.06 0.12%
S&P 500 S&P 500 Index 2457.59
11.29 0.46%
NASDAQ NASDAQ Composite 6368.31
66.42 1.05%

Investors also digested a slew of economic data.

The ADP National Employment report showed private-sector jobs increased by 237,000 jobs in August, well above the expected 185,000. The ADP report is often used by traders as a preview to the government’s monthly jobs report, which is set for release on Friday.

Meanwhile, the second estimate for gross domestic product data in the second quarter showed the U.S. economy grew by 3.0 percent, more than the expected increase of 2.7 percent.

That said, U.S. stock futures pared their slight gains after the data were released.

“What the market may be reflecting is the possibility that the [Federal Reserve] could still be on the table for this year,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.

Market expectations for a rate hike in December were at 41 percent on Wednesday, up from 34 percent on Tuesday, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

The two-year note yield, which is the most sensitive to changes in Fed monetary policy, climbed higher to about 1.33 percent.

“But it is hard to get a clear read on the market in a week defined by high absenteeism and low volume,” State Street’s Arone added.

As of Wednesday afternoon, just over 13 billion shares had been traded for the week. At that rate, the weekly volume is on track for its lowest level since the week of last Christmas.

“Strong economic data can’t break the fact that late August is one of the sleepier times of the year. Geopolitical worries are still lingering, but with Congress scheduled to get back in session next week, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some September volatility starting up quickly,” said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial.

Stocks traded slightly lower earlier on Wednesday before turning higher.

Equities closed higher on Tuesday after rebounding from the concern of further escalation in tension between the U.S. and North Korea. The Dow opened more than 130 points lower before closing 57 points higher.

“Our response to North Korea was measured. ‘All things’ being on the table is much more measured than ‘fire and fury’ and ‘locked and loaded,'” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. “I think that was extremely constructive for the market.”

Overseas stocks also rebounded Wednesday, with the Stoxx 600 index in Europe advancing 0.8 percent. In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 index rose 0.7 percent, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong popped 1.2 percent.

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