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S&P 500 and Nasdaq Both Hit Record Highs

August 19, 2020

S&P 500

Stocks hit record highs yesterday, giving the S&P 500 a long-awaited record not seen since February. This was largely due to strong housing data and better than expected retail earnings.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.23%, beating its intra-day high of $3,393.52, before leaping past its February peak and closing at $3,389.78, the 129th record close under President Trump.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.73%, making its own record high as Tesla shares zoomed above $1,900 each for the first time before ending slightly lower. The recent run in the stock has made Elon Musk the fourth wealthiest person in the world. Apple also climbed, coming close to $467.77 a share.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was didn’t follow, falling 0.24% as two members gave back earlier gains despite solid earnings.

Home Depot Inc. reported better than expected figures as U.S. comparable sales rose 25% from a year ago. Walmart Inc. Saw their sales rise 97% since last year, helping drive a 79% jump in profit.

U.S. housing numbers rose 23% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.496 million, beating the 1.24 million that was anticipated. The results sent shares of home builders, like Toll Brothers Inc., Pulte Group and Lennar Corp. higher.

Meanwhile, Boeing’s job cuts will extend beyond its initial plan to eliminate 10% of its workforce. Oracle is in talks to acquire the U.S., Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand assets of the social-media app TikTok from Chinese owner ByteDance.

Meanwhile, gold climbed $14.40 to $1,999.40 an ounce while crude oil remained unchanged at $42.89 a barrel. U.S. Treasuries showed little change with the yield on the 10-year note holding near 0.68%.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX lost 0.3% while France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE fell 0.68% and 0.83%, respectively.

Asian markets finished mixed with China’s Shanghai Composite adding 0.36%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edging up 0.08%, and Japan’s Nikkei slipping 0.2%.

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