S&P, Nasdaq grind to record highs as banks rally after dividend hikes

Facebook Inc. lost its $1T market cap

U.S. equity markets rallied to record highs Tuesday as investors digested another round of upbeat economic data and America's biggest banks hiked their dividends. 

Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite finished in record territory, advancing 0.03% and 0.19%, respectively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, meanwhile, gained 11 points, or 0.03%. The index closed 483.17 points off its own record peak.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35116.4 +278.24 +0.80%
SP500 S&P 500 4423.15 +35.99 +0.82%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14761.294551 +80.23 +0.55%

The mixed session came as investors assessed the strongest consumer confidence reading since February 2020 as national home prices surging the most on an annual basis since recordkeeping began in 1987.  

In stocks, big banks, including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., announced dividend increases Monday evening, just days after passing the Federal Reserve’s annual stress tests. Citigroup Inc., meanwhile, failed to increase its payout to shareholders.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MS MORGAN STANLEY 96.60 +0.37 +0.38%
GS THE GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP, INC. 380.36 +2.17 +0.57%
JPM JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. 152.89 +1.72 +1.14%
C CITIGROUP, INC. 68.88 +1.15 +1.70%

BIG BANKS HIKE DIVIDENDS AFTER PASSING FED'S STRESS TEST

In addition to increasing its dividend, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced plans to buy OpenInvest, a fintech startup that helps financial advisers invest in environmental, social and governance portfolios.

Elsewhere, Facebook Inc. lost its $1 trillion market capitalization as shares closed below the $352.68 needed to hold the level. The social media company on Monday joined Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Google-parent Alphabet Inc. as the only other U.S. companies to top that mark.   

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
FB FACEBOOK, INC. 351.24 -0.71 -0.20%
AAPL APPLE, INC. 147.36 +1.84 +1.26%
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 287.12 +2.30 +0.81%
GOOGL ALPHABET, INC. 2,712.60 +15.51 +0.58%

Tesla Inc. had its price target lowered to $660 from $730 at UBS due to concerns of increasing competition and production delays. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA, INC. 709.74 +0.07 +0.01%

United Airlines Holdings Inc. will buy 200 Boeing 737 MAX jets and 70 Airbus A321neo jets in its largest order ever. Deliveries will begin in 2023 and continue through 2026. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC. 46.54 +0.47 +1.02%

In earnings, furniture maker Herman Miller beat on both the top and bottom lines but gave current quarter earnings-per-share guidance that was below Wall Street estimates. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MLHR HERMAN MILLER, INC. 44.32 -0.05 -0.11%

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil ticked up 7 cents to $72.98 a barrel and gold declined $17 to $1,762.80 an ounce.  

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Overseas markets were mixed with strength in Europe and weakness in Asia. 

Germany’s DAX 30 paced the gains in Europe, trading up 0.88%, while France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.14% and Britain’s FTSE 100 jumped 0.21%.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.94%, China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.92% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 0.81%.