Nasdaq Halts 3-session Skid As Tech Rally Powers Stock-market Gains

By Mark DeCambre Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks ended mostly higher Wednesday in post-holiday trade, powered by gains in technology, health-care and financial shares. Trading marked the first full session in July and follows holiday-shortened trade on Monday, with markets closed Tuesday in observance of Independence Day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished flat at 21,479, the S&P 500 index climbed 0.2% to finish at 2,433. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index , enjoyed the best performance among the benchmarks on the day, advancing 0.7% at 6,150, after closing in the red in the past three sessions. A popular tech-fund, the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF , ended 0.9% higher. Bears have fretted that brisk gains in the tech sector have left it vulnerable to a selloff. Wednesday's moves follow a release of minutes at 2 p.m. Eastern from the Federal Reserve, which signaled the central bank's intention to start to shrink its $4.5 trillion balance sheet as early as September. Reducing its balance sheet, accumulated during the 2008-'09 financial crisis, can serve as an additional tightening as the Fed aims to normalize monetary policy. Meanwhile, U.S. crude-oil prices settled more than 4% lower, snapping an 8-session rally. Lower oil prices weighed on energy-related stocks, including Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. . In corporate news, shares of Tesla Inc. tumbled into correction territory in the wake of downbeat deliveries data. Shares ended down 7.2%.

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