Stocks rose toward another record as the Federal Reserve’s commitment to easy monetary policy helped boost market sentiment. Treasuries advanced, while the dollar retreated.
The S&P 500 climbed for a second straight day. The Nasdaq 100 outperformed amid a rally in giants such as Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated. GameStop Corp. whipsawed after saying it intends to elect Ryan Cohen as its next chairman, cementing the activist investor’s influence at the video-game retailer.
The dovish outlook from the Fed’s minutes is keeping investor optimism alive amid the regular reminders that the pandemic is far from done. The main event Thursday for monetary-policy watchers will be Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s contribution to a panel on the global economy at 12 p.m. Washington time. Applications for U.S. state unemployment insurance unexpectedly rose for a second week, underscoring the choppy nature of the labor-market recovery.
“Claims were disappointing. They go to show the recovery will be uneven, and that’s what the Fed has been saying,” noted Fiona Cincotta, senior financial markets analyst at City Index. As Treasury yields move lower, tech stocks are getting “a real boost” again today, she added.
With the S&P 500’s fresh high Wednesday, one technical indicator has the equity benchmark the most overbought since February. The GTI Global Strength Indicator — measuring upward and downward movements of successive closing prices — breached 70 on Tuesday and is now the highest since the index sold off in the middle of that month.
“We could see some short-term strength, but long term we’re a little more cautious about potential weakness,” said Anna Han, equity strategist at Wells Fargo Securities.
Some key events to watch this week:
- China’s consumer and producer prices data are due Friday.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 gained 0.2% at 10:34 a.m. New York time.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.4%.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.3%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.3%.
- The euro gained 0.3% to $1.1904.
- The Japanese yen appreciated 0.7% to 109.10 per dollar.
- The yield on two-year Treasuries declined less than one basis point to 0.15%.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell four basis points to 1.63%.
- The yield on 30-year Treasuries fell four basis points to 2.32%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude declined 1% to $59.17 a barrel.
- Gold strengthened 1.1% to $1,756.68 an ounce.
— With assistance by Joanna Ossinger, Andreea Papuc, Robert Brand, Nancy Moran, and Michael Tobin