Record high for the S&P and Dow. Stocks open with strong gains

Cornelia Mascio
Settembre 21, 2018

"Corporate cash flow is at a record high, unemployment is low, regulatory reform and tax reform have certainly provided winds to the sails of the market", Keator added.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record closing high on Thursday, the last of Wall Street's major indexes to fully regain ground after a correction that began in January.

The Nasdaq also closed higher on Thursday, rising just less than 1% to close above 8,000, but short of a record close.

Chipmakers Intel (INTC.O) and Micron (MU.O) rose 1.1 percent and 3.6 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 22.80 points (0.78 per cent) to 2,930.75, besting the Aug 29 record, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 78.19 points (0.98 per cent) to 8,028.23.

"And these gains have come amidst what we deem to be healthy rotation... the index ETFs that are up the most in 2018 are actually struggling this month, while we've seen rallies in areas that had been underperforming on the year".

The technology sector.SPLRCT edged 0.1 percent lower, pulled down by a 1.3 percent decline in Microsoft (MSFT.O). Facebook Inc (FB.O) rose 1.7 percent, while Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Google parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) had nominal gains.

Volume on USA exchanges was 6.52 billion shares, compared to the 6.23 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

The U.S. Labor Department reported new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to a near-49-year low, confirming a strong labor market a week before the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates. Higher rates typically benefit the financial sector, which was up 1.0 percent.

Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, eight were in positive territory.

Amazon.com (AMZN.O) slid 0.8 percent as European Union regulators looked into whether the largest online retailer was using merchant data to stifle competition.

Among the FAANG group of momentum stocks, Netflix Inc was lower.

Nike Inc rose 1.2 percent after an analysis of the company's online sales data by Thomson Reuters Proprietary Research revealed it had sold out of 61 percent more merchandise since the appearance the ad campaign featuring National Football League player Colin Kaepernick.

However, General Electric (GE.N) dropped 3 percent after the company flagged issues with its new H-class gas turbine.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.17-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.77-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

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