Stocks eked out some modest gains on Wall Street Wednesday, enough to nudge the Nasdaq composite index to another all-time high. The S&P 500 gave up nearly all of a midday gain and ended just 1 point higher, or less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq added 0.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave back 0.1%. Small-company stocks did better than the rest of the market. The muted trading came a day after the S&P 500 closed out August with its seventh consecutive monthly gain. Energy prices ended mixed and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 1.30%.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
Stocks edged higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street Wednesday as investors continue monitoring the latest economic data for a better sense of the economic recovery’s path forward.
The S&P 500 index rose 0.3% as of 1:55 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 12 points, or less than 0.1%, to 35,374 and the Nasdaq rose 0.8%.
Technology and communications stocks made solid gains that helped lift an otherwise choppy market. Apple rose 1.5%.
Investors were weighing a weak survey from payroll processor ADP that showed U.S. companies added jobs at a much slower pace than economists had anticipated. The weak report follows a disappointing consumer confidence survey on Tuesday and comes ahead of the Labor Department’s release of its August jobs report on Friday.
“Friday’s (jobs) numbers are going to be very carefully looked at on all levels,” said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager with Globalt Investments.
The report should provide more clues about the strength of the job market and might give investors a clearer sense of whether the Federal Reserve will decide at its upcoming September meeting on a timeline for paring back the $120 billion in bond purchases it’s making each month. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has signaled that the central bank will continue to keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future, even when it tapers the bond buying.
Meanwhile, The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, reported that growth in U.S. manufacturing accelerated in August despite the fact that companies were still struggling with supply chain problems. The supply chain issues, along with improvements in employment, are key factors in how investors are gauging the direction and potential impact of inflation, Martin said.
The broader market has been pushing higher all year, with the S&P 500 closing out August with its seventh straight monthly gain, marking its longest such winning streak since early 2018. Much of the momentum has been sustained by low interest rates favoring stock investments and a steady economic recovery, but investors are growing more cautious.
COVID-19’s more contagious delta variant has raised concerns that consumers could pull back on spending and a much needed recovery in the jobs market could stall.
The focus on broader economic data comes as the market quiets down following a solid corporate earnings season.
Elsewhere, oil prices slumped 1%, putting some weight on energy stocks. Occidental Petroleum fell 2.2%. Copper prices slipped 2.2% and pushed some key copper mining companies lower.
PVH, which owns the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, jumped 15% after raising its profit forecast for the year. Other stocks making big gains include video-compression chipmaker Ambarella, which gained 27% after reporting solid second-quarter financial results.
Bond yields were stable. The yield on the 10-year Treasury remained at 1.30% from late Tuesday.
Markets in Europe and Asia were mostly higher.
7 Stocks That Still Have Upside For Investors to Buy
It can be fun to invest in some speculative stocks. But it should go without saying that those stocks shouldn’t make up the bulk of your portfolio. In fact, it’s important to find a few good stocks that make up the base of your portfolio. These are momentum stocks that are in a strong uptrend.
One way to find such stocks is to look at the most active stocks (or volume leaders). Shares of these companies are among the most traded or have the highest dollar volume of shares traded in a given trading day.
Any stock may crack this list from time to time (for example, when there’s new news about the company). However, stocks tend to find their way on this list consistently that bear watching. That’s because this list indicates that there is pressure among investors to buy or sell the stock. And that makes an investor’s decision very simple.
And that’s the reason we created this special presentation. The stocks on this list are among the most actively traded stocks on the market today. They also share a similar quality. They are coming off strong years in 2020 and seem to be showing some consolidation for another leg up.
View the “7 Stocks That Still Have Upside For Investors to Buy”.