Stocks surge as Nasdaq Composite Index hits new rexodd high.
U.S. stocks traded mostly higher on Wednesday, with the large-cap S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) closing at its highest level in nearly six months.
The S&P 500 Index rose 0.9% to 2,846.07, its highest since January 29. Ten of 11 primary sectors finished in the black, led by information technology, healthcare and industrials stocks.
The Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) surged 1.2% en route to a new record high of 7,932.24. The technology-focused index has returned nearly 15% year-to-date.
Dow industrials (NYSEARCA:DIA) reversed losses to finish sharply higher on Wednesday. The index gained 172.16 points, or 0.7%, to close at 25,414.10.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) edged lower on Wednesday as calm trading conditions prevailed. The so-called “fear index” fell more than 3% to close at 11.95 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average.
In economic data, U.S. new home sales declined more than expected last month, adding to the growing risk of a housing slowdown.
The sale of new homes declined 5.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 631,000, the Department of Commerce reported Wednesday. Analysts in a median estimate called for a 2.8% drop.
On Monday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a 0.6% drop in existing home sales for June, the third consecutive decline.
The Final Word: Stocks are in good shape heading into the month of August, which is a traditionally slow time for Wall Street. Earnings optimism should keep the benchmark indexes elevated for the foreseeable future even as trade and geopolitical tensions weigh on investor sentiment.