Nasdaq, S&P 500 hit records as financials, energy lead

Johnson & Johnson says its COVID-19 booster shot generates 'strong and robust immune reponses'

U.S. stock indexes clawed their way to record highs Wednesday as investors assessed the prospects of a massive spending project and looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole Symposium. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39 points, or 0.11%, while the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite index were higher by 0.22% and 0.15%, respectively. The gains propelled both the S&P and the Nasdaq to another round of all-time highs as the Dow closed about 222 points below its own record peak. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35294.76 +382.20 +1.09%
SP500 S&P 500 4471.37 +33.11 +0.75%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14897.33971 +73.91 +0.50%

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a $3.5 trillion budget resolution that creates the framework for the "human infrastructure" package the Senate hopes to pass via the reconciliation process, which would avoid a Republican filibuster. The lower chamber also advanced the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan that would provide funding for roads, bridges and broadband, among other things. 

HOUSE REPUBLICANS CONDEMN DEMOCRATS' $3.5T BUDGET RESOLUTION, SAY IT WILL ADD TO RECORD INFLATION

Investors will be paying close attention to developments that come from the Fed’s Jackson Hole conference that takes place Thursday and Friday when the central bank could telegraph its timeline to begin tapering its asset purchase program and begin raising rates. 

In stocks, infrastructure-linked companies, including Caterpillar Inc. and Deere & Co., were in focus after the House advanced the $3.5 trillion spending package.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CAT CATERPILLAR, INC. 199.02 +4.69 +2.41%
DE DEERE & CO. 332.76 +2.99 +0.91%

Financials gained as selling of U.S. Treasurys steepened the yield curve while causing the 10-year note yield to rise 5 basis points to 1.34%.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BAC BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 46.37 +1.30 +2.88%
CFG CITIZENS FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. (RHODE ISLAND) 48.09 +0.17 +0.35%
JPM JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. 166.61 +3.14 +1.92%

Johnson & Johnson said a booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine generates "strong and robust immune responses" that last for at least eight months. The results are based on two Phase 1/2a studies. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JNJ JOHNSON & JOHNSON 161.30 +1.19 +0.74%

Nordstrom Inc. reported quarterly revenue fell 6% from pre-pandemic levels as the company dealt with supply chain disruptions and faced strong competition. The department store chain raised its sales outlook for the current fiscal year. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JWN NORDSTROM, INC. 28.08 +0.74 +2.71%
DKS DICK'S SPORTING GOODS, INC. 119.74 +0.61 +0.51%

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. reported record quarterly sales and earnings and lifted its full-year outlook. The retailer also announced a special dividend of $5.50 per share and raised its quarterly dividend by 21% to 43.75 cents per share. 

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed 82 cents to $68.36 a barrel and gold fell $17.40 to $1,788.20 an ounce. 

Overseas trading was choppy. 

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In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 were both higher by 0.34% and 0.18%, respectively, while Germany’s DAX 30 declined 0.28%. 

Asian markets were mixed with China’s Shanghai Composite rallying 0.74%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipping 0.03% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index falling 0.13%.