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Wall Street closes higher as momentum stocks push S&P 500, Nasdaq to new highs

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08/26/2020 | 03:34pm EDT
New York Stock Exchange opens during COVID-19

U.S. stocks surged on Wednesday, pushing the S&P 500 to its fourth straight record closing high, as investors stayed focused on large-cap momentum stocks that have outperformed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nasdaq also set an all-time closing high, its 39th year-to-date, compared with a total of 31 reached in all of 2019.

The Dow, which remains 4.1% below its pre-COVID record, and 0.7% off showing a year-to-date gain, posted a more modest advance.

The MSCI world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS> surged past its February high to reach a record peak.

Salesforce.com, a software-as-a-service provider and soon-to-be Dow component, saw its shares soar 26.0% following its beat-and-raise earnings report.

Netflix Inc shares had their best day in over three years, jumping 11.6%. The stay-at-home favorite has surged 69.2% since the final closing bell of 2019.

Facebook Inc rose 8.2% giving the S&P 500 its biggest boost.

"Your three highest sectors are all the mega-cap tech and tech-related stocks," said Joseph Sroka, chief investment officer at NovaPoint in Atlanta. "So that notion of large-cap tech leading the market is in play today."

"There's this confidence that regardless of what happens with COVID, these companies have proven that they're open for business."

Energy was the biggest percentage loser among S&P 500 sectors, dropping 2.2% as Hurricane Laura bore down on the Texas-Louisiana coastline, posing the largest threat to U.S. energy assets since 2005's Hurricane Katrina. The coming storm, now a Category 4, prompted crude producers and refiners to shut down their facilities.

Commercial air carrier stocks lost altitude, with the S&P 1500 Airline index dipping 1.8% even after the White House announced President Donald Trump was weighing an executive action to avoid massive layoffs in the sector.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to unveil a new framework intended to soften the central bank's inflation stance, which Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to address during his remarks on Thursday as part of the Kansas City Fed's virtual Jackson Hole symposium.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 83.48 points, or 0.3%, to 28,331.92, the S&P 500 gained 35.11 points, or 1.02%, to 3,478.73 and the Nasdaq Composite added 198.59 points, or 1.73%, to 11,665.06.

Communications services led the 11 major sectors in the S&P in percentage gains.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co rose 3.6% after its full-year profit outlook beat expectations, while tax software firm Intuit Inc advanced 1.8% on a 17% rise in quarterly revenue.

Apparel retailer Nordstrom Inc tumbled 5.5% following its bigger-than-expected quarterly losses after being forced by mandated lockdowns to shutter its stores.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.29-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.34-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 38 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 88 new highs and 8 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 8.55 billion shares, compared with the 9.42 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

By Stephen Culp

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DJ INDUSTRIAL 0.52% 26659.11 Delayed Quote.-6.59%
FACEBOOK INC 4.92% 280.83 Delayed Quote.36.82%
HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE COMPANY 1.91% 8.53 Delayed Quote.-46.22%
INTUIT INC. 2.23% 325.61 Delayed Quote.24.31%
MSCI AC WORLD INDEX (STRD, UHD) -0.27% 571.527 Real-time Quote.1.11%
NASDAQ 100 1.87% 11350.743252 Delayed Quote.32.82%
NASDAQ COMP. 1.64% 11185.592838 Delayed Quote.27.40%
NETFLIX, INC. 3.70% 504.21 Delayed Quote.55.83%
NORDSTROM, INC -1.21% 12.21 Delayed Quote.-70.17%
S&P 500 1.19% 3310.11 Delayed Quote.2.46%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2020 80 415 M - -
Net income 2020 23 375 M - -
Net cash 2020 62 594 M - -
P/E ratio 2020 34,7x
Yield 2020 -
Capitalization 800 B 800 B -
EV / Sales 2020 9,17x
EV / Sales 2021 7,17x
Nbr of Employees 52 534
Free-Float 83,8%
Duration : Period :
Facebook Inc Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends FACEBOOK INC
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 49
Average target price 298,40 $
Last Close Price 280,83 $
Spread / Highest target 21,1%
Spread / Average Target 6,25%
Spread / Lowest Target -57,3%
EPS Revisions
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Sheryl Kara Sandberg Chief Operating Officer & Director
David M. Wehner Chief Financial Officer
Michael Todd Schroepfer Chief Technology Officer
Atish Banerjea Chief Information Officer
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1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
FACEBOOK INC36.82%762 543
TWITTER51.42%38 278
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NEW WORK SE-24.49%1 457