Markets closed higher on Thursday, with tech stocks once again leading the rally. Apple recovered from the losses made in the earlier session. Moreover, investor sentiment received a boost on news that China has welcomed fresh talks with the United States in an attempt to find a possible solution to escalating trade tensions. Also, impressive economic data help lift investors’ confidence.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) climbed 0.6%, to close at 26,145.99. The S&P 500 advanced 0.5% to close at 2,904.18. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 8,013.71, increasing 0.8%. A total of 6.7 billion shares were traded on Thursday, higher than the last 20-session average of 6.1 billion shares. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.41-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.09-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.
How did the Benchmark Perform?
The Dow added 147.07 points, positing a three-day winning streak and recording its first close above 26,000 this month. Technology stocks were the best performers, with Apple, Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) leading the rally. Shares of Apple jumped 2.4%. Apple has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
The S&P 500 increased 15.26 points, posting its four-day winning streak and recording its biggest percentage gain since Aug 2. The rally was led by tech stocks. The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) gained 1.2% each. The tech heavy Nasdaq added 59.48 points, with shares of Alphabet, Inc. (GOOGL - Free Report) and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) gaining 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively.
Tech Stocks Lead the Rally
Tech stocks once again helped the markets, as Apple bounced back from losses made in the earlier session. Apple shares had declined on Wednesday when it unveiled three new iPhones, including the largest ever model. However, it came up with few surprises, which saw the company’s shares taking a hit. On Thursday, Apple staged a rebound, leading to gains in the broader market.
Tech stocks have been under pressure for a while now it increasing trade tensions and fears of a possible government clampdown on internet and tech companies. Also, the chipmakers bounced back after making losses on Wednesday. The PHLX Semiconductor index (^SOX) rose 1.2% on Thursday.
China Welcomes Trade Talks
Trade tensions between the United States and China have been on the rise, which has been affecting markets. On Wednesday, the Trump administration invited Beijing for a fresh round of talks in an attempt to resolve trade disputes. On Thursday, China welcomed United States’ initiative. This somewhat eased trade tensions and gave a boost to investors’ confidence, leading to a rally in stocks.
However, the timing of the next round of trade talks is still unclear, with President Donald Trump saying that the United States is under no pressure to make a deal with China. In fact, Trump had last week said that the United States is ready to go ahead with tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods.
Impressive Economic Data
The consumer price index rose 0.2% in August, increasing for the fifth straight month. Also, initial job claims fell marginally this week, touching a 49-year low. Investors have been worrying about rising inflation lately, which could lead to tighter monetary policy.
The Fed has already raised interest rates twice this year and is expected to raise rates once again this month. The 10-year Treasury yield traded mostly lower on Thursday after the release of the data.
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