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US Stocks Climb, S&P500, Nasdaq Mark Fresh Record Closes

US equities surge to new records on Thursday, futures trade muted. Stoxx 600 Europe marks a fourth consecutive peak, Ether rallies to a two-month high.

SageFX - Aug, 06, 21

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Principal Points

  • US equities surge to new records on Thursday, futures trade muted
  • Stoxx 600 Europe marks a fourth consecutive peak, Ether rallies to a two-month high

Stocks on Wall Street pushed higher on Thursday and hovered at all-time highs, propelled by strengthened expectations the economic recovery will maintain its healthy trajectory. The broad-based S&P500 rallied to a new closing record level after weekly jobless claims data suggested employment in the US continued to improve.

Stocks advanced broadly as all three major equity indexes ended the day in positive territory. Shares of banks, technology firms, and travel and leisure companies rose across the board.

The S&P500 added 26.44 points, or 0.60%, to 4,429.10, a new record for the benchmark index. Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 271.58 points, or 0.78%, to finish the session at 35,064.25. The Nasdaq Composite rose 114.58 points, or 0.78%, to a record close of 14,895.12.

Stocks wobbled through the first half of the week as looming concerns the economy may be slowing down overshadowed the positive earnings reports. A strong surge in new Covid-19 cases in the US and Asia weighed on stocks as investors retreated, leading to a rally in the US dollar.

Despite the rapid rise in new infections, largely a result of the Delta strain sweeping across the states, stocks are acting rather unfazed. Futures contracts tied to the three major indexes are floating moderately below their closing levels from the previous day.

Both the S&P500 and the Nasdaq Composite reached their 43rd and 27th record closes of the year, respectively. The blue-chip Dow Jones now sits just 0.2% below its all-time high set July 26.

At the same time, the US on Friday reported 127,108 new coronavirus infections Thursday. The consistent climb in the seven-day average rate now hovers at 100,199 a day for the past seven days, the highest seven-day average since early February when the US was coming down from its pandemic peak.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, earlier in the week ruled out a possible lockdown scenario but warned that “things are going to get worse” as the highly transmissible Delta variant spreads.

Strong earnings reports have added fuel to the rally in stocks over the past few weeks. The second-quarter performance of US corporations has been largely better-than-expected, signaling the US economy has weathered the coronavirus crisis. In addition, jobless claims for the week ended July 31, fell to 385,000, which is still nearly double the pre-pandemic average from over a year ago.

In overseas stock action, European markets on Friday trade muted and mostly lower as traders and investors struggle to support the region-wide Stoxx 600 after four straight days of a record-setting rally. Shares in Europe on Thursday were led higher by robust earnings reports and an improved outlook for the second half of 2021.

Cryptocurrencies today keep steady near opening levels. Bitcoin is trading little changed, currently right under the $41,000 mark. Ether spiked to a two-month high in the early trading hours, reaching a peak of $2,842 per coin.

The Ethereum token has surged nearly 15% Tuesday-to-date as the second-largest digital asset underwent a major upgrade to its network. The London hard fork, as it’s called, aims to improve how fees are calculated, while at the same time it destroys a part of the fees in order to decrease the total supply of ether, potentially boosting its price.