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Stocks Set Another Record as Trading Range Narrows: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks set another record high even as the S&P 500 Index settles into the narrowest trading range since before the Covid pandemic roiled global financial markets. The dollar strengthened and Treasury yields were mostly higher.

U.S. stocks set another record high even as the S&P 500 Index settles into the narrowest trading range since before the Covid pandemic roiled global financial markets. The dollar strengthened and Treasury yields were mostly higher.

Health care and technology shares helped push the S&P to a closing high for a third consecutive session and for the 47th time this year. The benchmark has almost doubled in value from the pandemic lows reached in March last year, though the rate of change is slowing. It has swung an average 0.5% each day in August, and is poised for the calmest month since November 2019. Micron Technology led chipmakers lower amid concern over the market for memory chips. 

“Equities become the proverbial term — there is no alternative — and that’s ultimately a money-flow story,” David Kostin, chief equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, said during a Bloomberg TV interview. “From a valuation perspective, equities are reasonably valued in the context of interest rates.”  

Treasuries were mostly lower. An earlier report showed applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits dropped for the third week in a row.

“This is yet another data point indicating continued labor market recovery,” Anu Gaggar, global investment strategist at Commonwealth Financial Network, said of Thursday’s jobless claim data.

Investors are continuing to evaluate the implications of a likely Federal Reserve tapering announcement in the months ahead, the spread of the delta virus variant and China’s clampdown. Global stocks are up about 90% since the pandemic nadir in March 2020, spurring questions about how much further they can climb.     

Stocks Set Another Record as Trading Range Narrows: Markets Wrap

For more market analysis read our MLIV blog.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 rose 0.3% as of 4 p.m. New York time
  • The Nasdaq 100 rose 0.4%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed
  • The MSCI World index was little changed

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1%
  • The euro was little changed at $1.1734
  • The British pound fell 0.5% to $1.3805
  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 110.42 per dollar

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced three basis points to 1.36%
  • Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.46%
  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced three basis points to 0.60%

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.5% to $68.91 a barrel
  • Gold futures were little changed

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