S&P 500, Nasdaq again close at records but Dow dips 0.2%

August 26, 2020 | 11:26
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Wall Street continued marching higher on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 posting their third consecutive record highs even as the Dow lost ground in volatile August trading.
sp 500 nasdaq again close at records but dow dips 02
In this file photo taken on March 29, 2019 The Lyft logo is shown on the screen at the Nasdaq offices in Times Square in New York. Uber and Lyft are hoping a courtroom reprieve will spare them from shutting down their rival smartphone-summoned ride services in California on August 21. The companies are awaiting word from an appeals court whether they will be able to delay having to abide by a new state law that officials argue requires them to reclassify drivers as employees entitled to worker benefits. (photo: Don EMMERT / AFP)

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 0.2 percent lower at 28,248.44.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index ended up 0.8 percent at 11,466.47, bringing its tally of records closer to 40, while the broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.4 percent to close at 3,443.62.

The United States has seen a deep downturn due to the coronavirus and the White House and Congress remain deadlocked over more stimulus for the economy, but traders have nonetheless pushed major indices higher in recent weeks, fueled by hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine and indications parts of the economy have recovered.

That sentiment was buoyed by the release of Commerce Department data showing new home sales jumping 13.9 percent in July compared to the prior month, the third consecutive month of massive increases and more than 36 percent above the same month in 2019.

Also helping matters was a joint statement from the US and China saying they would continue with the "phase one" trade deal signed earlier this year.

However, in a sign of a toll the impasse in Washington has had on Americans, The Conference Board reported its consumer confidence index deteriorated again in August falling to 84.8 from 91.7 in July, with sentiment about both the present situation and near-term prospects worsening.

"The market is driven by technical momentum right now, bullish momentum, more than fundamental factors," said Karl Haeling of LBBW. "But at the same time the market is a bit overextended."

Late August is also a notoriously slow trading period, which can produce big price swings on the least bit of news.

Tech stocks have been among the winners in recent weeks as more people rely on their products amid quarantine shutdowns but Apple, which last week became the first company to hit $2 trillion in market value, pulled back 0.8 percent on Tuesday.


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