S&P rallies to record as first half winds down

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc. debuts on New York Stock Exchange

The S&P 500 booked its fifth straight record high on Wednesday as the first half of the year came to a close. 

The benchmark index climbed 0.13% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 210 points, or 0.61%. The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, slipped 0.17%, ending just off its own record peak. The S&P has gained 14% so far this year as both the Dow and the Nasdaq have advanced 13%. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 32637.19 +516.91 +1.61%
SP500 S&P 500 4057.84 +79.11 +1.99%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 11740.650441 +305.91 +2.68%

The choppy session came after the ADP employment report showed the U.S. economy added 692,000 private-sector workers in June, a decline from the downwardly revised 886,000 jobs gained in the prior month. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting the addition of 600,000 jobs. 

PRIVATE PAYROLLS RISE BY 692,000 IN JUNE, DOWN FROM PRIOR MONTH

In stocks, Big Tech shares, including Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc., were in focus after The Wall Street Journal reported the Biden administration is drafting an executive order that would direct federal regulators to more closely examine industries that are controlled by a small number of companies. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAPL APPLE INC. 143.78 +3.26 +2.32%
FB META PLATFORMS INC. 191.63 +7.80 +4.24%

Elsewhere, Walmart gained nearly 3% as the Dow's top performer. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WMT WALMART INC. 126.00 +2.40 +1.94%

In earnings, General Mills Inc. reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street estimates but warned that organic net sales would decline as much as 3% in the current fiscal year as at-home food demand declines across most of its core markets.  

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. raised its 2021 sales forecast amid signs that its turnaround strategies are taking hold. The company's quarterly revenue outpaced expectations, but its profit fell short.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GIS GENERAL MILLS INC. 69.46 +0.20 +0.29%
BBBY BED BATH & BEYOND INC. 8.54 +0.36 +4.40%

Database software developer MongoDB Inc. priced a 2.5 million offering of new common shares. The sale, which raised about $889 million, was done at a price of $365 per share, a 4.9% discount to where shares closed Tuesday.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MDB MONGODB INC. 233.06 +2.27 +0.98%
DIDI DIDI GLOBAL INC 1.85 +0.10 +5.71%

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc. opened for trading at $16.65 a share after pricing at $14, the high end of its range, on Tuesday evening. Shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DIDI. 

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 49 cents to $73.47 a barrel and gold edged up $8 to $1,770.90 an ounce, but was unable to avoid its steepest monthly decline, -6.92%, since November 2016. 

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Overseas markets were mostly lower.

European bourses were weaker across the board, with Germany’s DAX 30 declining 1.02%, France’s CAC 40 sliding 0.91% and Britain’s FTSE 100 down 0.71%. 

In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite rallied 0.5% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.57% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.07%.