The Strategist

S&P 500, Nasdaq hit new record highs

08/31/2021 - 09:30

The U.S. S&P 500 Index hit its 53rd record high close of the year on Monday on the back of a rise in technology stocks.
The S&P 500 is up 21% in 2021, with the highest number of record highs in the current calendar year as of August.

The S&P 500 ended trading up 19.42 points, or 0.4%, to 4,528.79 points. The Nasdaq Composite rose 136.39 points, or 0.9 percent, to 15265.89 points, its 32nd record close of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 55.96 points, or 0.2%, to 35399.84 points.

Technology stocks gained support after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday confirmed the central bank's plan to begin winding down stimulus programs later this year. Central bank executives stressed that the decision will have no impact on further action on interest rate hikes.

The economy-sensitive financial and oil and gas sectors, meanwhile, are losing ground on worries about the delta strain of coronavirus. Shares of JPMorgan Chase fell 1.6 percent and Wells Fargo fell 2.8 percent.

Lars Skovgaard Andersen, an investment strategist at Danske Bank Wealth Management, notes that higher interest rates - or forecasts that the Federal Reserve should tighten policy - could push up U.S. Treasury bond yields. A rapid rise in yields could put pressure on stocks of large technology firms that have been comfortable with low rates, and the broad market would be affected.