S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average extends record highs.
U.S. stocks struggled near record territory on Wednesday, although the Dow and S&P managed to pull ahead as energy shares rallied.
The S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) overcame a tepid trading session to finish 0.1% higher at 2,498.37. That was the index’s third straight record-breaking rally.
Five of 11 sectors contributed to the gains, with energy and discretionary shares leading the way.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) rose 0.2% to close at 22,156.11, its second consecutive record close. The majority of the Dow’s 30 index members recorded gains on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) edged up 0.1% 6,460.19, which was also a new record.
A measure of 30-day volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) settled lower on Wednesday. The so-callee “investor fear index” fell 0.7% to 10.51, on a scale of 1-100 where readings below 20 are normally associated with complacency in the market.
Oil prices shrugged off a much bigger than expected build in weekly crude inventories to close at five-week highs on Wednesday. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures contract rose $1.14, or 2.4%, to $49.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. ICE Brent future added 90 cents, or 1.7%, to $55.17 a barrel.
The Final Word: Stocks remain well supported in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Economic data will likely drive market activity over the next two days with reports on consumer inflation, retail sales and industrial production scheduled for release.