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Wall Street rises as megacap stocks bounce; Dow hits record high

  • Energy and materials continued this week's momentum, leading gains among S&P 500 sectors, with a jump of 2.4pc and 1.1pc, respectively.
Published May 5, 2021

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high on Wednesday, as the market recovered from a steep tech sell-off, after investors were encouraged by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's new comments on interest rates and a positive private jobs report.

Energy and materials continued this week's momentum, leading gains among S&P 500 sectors, with a jump of 2.4pc and 1.1pc, respectively.

"Energy, financial, materials, industrials are all outperforming. They tend to be cyclically oriented sectors and tend to benefit during periods when the economies are reopening and expanding," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

The S&P 500 technology sector gained 0.43pc, while the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index added 1.3pc, recovering from a sell-off on Tuesday after Yellen suggested that interest rates might need to rise in an overheating economy.

She later clarified that a near-term interest rate hike was not something she was "predicting or recommending" on Tuesday evening.

Strong economic data and earnings pushed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes to record high last week, but markets have wobbled amid concerns about rising inflation and potentially higher U.S. interest rates.

"Once you have markets hitting the highs we have seen recently, the one thing investors are worried about is rising inflation and what that means for profitability of companies," said Shawn Cruz, senior market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

Defensive utilities fell 2.1pc and real estate dropped 1.4pc, leading sectoral declines.

The ADP National Employment Report showed U.S. private payrolls increased in April as companies rushed to boost production amid a surge in demand, powered by massive government aid and rising vaccinations against COVID-19.

A more comprehensive reading in the form of the Labor Department's non-farm payrolls data is due on Friday.

By 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), the Dow rose 154.81 points, or 0.45pc, to 34,287.84, the S&P 500 gained 15.66 points, or 0.38pc, to 4,180.32 and the Nasdaq Composite added 36.75 points, or 0.27pc, to 13,670.25.

Peloton Interactive Inc dropped over 13.6pc, hitting a seven-month low on its announcement to recall its treadmills amid reports of multiple injuries and the death of a child in an accident.

Boeing Co fell over 1.5pc after U.S. air safety officials asked it to supply fresh analysis and documentation showing 737 MAX subsystems would not be affected by electrical grounding issues.

T-Mobile US Inc jumped over 5pc as it raised its full-year postpaid subscriber net additions forecast.

Uber Technologies Inc is set to report earnings after markets close on Wednesday.


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