Benchmarks closed mixed on Wednesday as investors brushed aside positive economic data and eyed employment data scheduled for release on Jul 3. The S&P 500 hit its fifth straight record high yesterday and closed out strong for the first half of the year, while the Nasdaq closed in the red. All three major indexes recorded the best first-half yearly performance since 2019.
How Did the Benchmarks Perform?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 210.22 points, or 0.6%, to close at 34,502.51. The blue-chip index was lifted by 2.7% gain in shares of Walmart Inc. WMT, followed by a 1.9% rise in The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. GS and 1.6% jump in The Boeing Company BA and Honeywell International Inc. HON. Walmart holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The S&P 500 added 5.70 points, or 0.1%, to end the session at a record high of 4,297.50. The broader index continued its record-high close for the fifth straight session. Six of its 11 major sectors closed in the green, led by the energy sector that added 1.3%, while both industrials and consumer staples closed at least 0.7% higher. The real estate sector was the highest decliner, slipping 0.8% on Wednesday.
The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 14,503.95, after declining 24.38 points, or 0.2%. The tech-laden index trickled down on the last day of the month, weighed down by more than 3% decline in shares of Pinduoduo Inc. PDD and Workday, Inc. WDAY. Big tech like Facebook, Inc. FB and Netflix, Inc. NFLX closed nearly 1% lower. However, the index pared losses as chip stocks continued to gain, shares of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. AMD, Xilinx, Inc. XLNX and Micron Technology, Inc. MU closed 4.9%, 3.6% and 2.5% higher for the session.
On Wednesday, the fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 1.2%, to close at 15.83. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones for 1.35-to-1 ratio on the NYSE, while a 1.19-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq favored decliners. The S&P 500 posted 20 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 70 new highs and 36 new lows. A total of 10.85 billion shares were traded yesterday, lower than the last 20-session average of 11.05 billion.
Private Sector Adds 692,000 Jobs in June
On Wednesday, Automatic Data Processing released the National Economic Report that states, private-sector employment in the United States increased by 692,000 in June. While the figures have surpassed Wall Street’s estimate of 550,000 new jobs, it is much lower than last month’s downwardly revised to 886,000 job additions.
Additionally, the reports state that the leisure and hospitality sector has added 332,000 jobs, boosted by reopening efforts. The education and health services have added 123,000 jobs, and trade and transportation added 62,000. In the construction and manufacturing space 47,000 and 19,000 jobs were added in June. Investors are now waiting for the employment report scheduled for release on Jul 3.
Pending Home Sales Rebounds in May
The National Association of Realtors reported yesterday that pending home sales rose 8% in May, reaching the highest level since 2005. The figure outpaces the consensus estimate of 1% decline and April’s 4.4% decline. Pending home sales were up 13% from a year-ago period.
The organization also reported that all four U.S. regions have registered month-over-month and year-over-year gains. Specifically, sales are up 15.5% in the Northeast, 6.7% in the Midwest, 4.9% in the South and 10.9% in the West. On the supply side, the supply of existing homes is about 20% below year-ago levels, and homebuilders are ramping up production as demand stays elevated.
Benchmarks marked the best six months of gains in first half of the year since 2019. The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite surged 12.7%, 14.4% and 12.5%, respectively. Rapid vaccination coupled with government stimulus supported the economy in its path to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the first-half of the year. Investors focused on energy, financials and industrials stocks that benefit in the early stage of the economical cycle.
For the quarter ending on June, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq added 8.2%, 4.6% and 9.5%, respectively. The US economy has added significant jobs in this quarter and other economic data has also pointed towards a rebound from the pandemic-led recession.
For the month of June, the Dow slid 0.1% while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq added 2.2% and 5.5% respectively. The broader index notched its fifth consecutive gain and the Nasdaq gained grounds as investors moved away from cyclicals that are economically sensitive to growth stocks. June’s economic data has been promising and points towards an economic rebound, however uptick in inflation has remained a concern and resulted in a temporary turmoil in the market.
Zacks Names “Single Best Pick to Double”
From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all.
You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it’s poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.
Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>