Mid-Cap Stocks

U.S. Stocks Mostly Higher Despite Mixed Data

S&P 500, Dow Jones, Nasdaq rose on Thursday.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market traded mostly higher on Thursday, as investors sifted through mixed economic data.

All of Wall Street’s major indices were higher at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) advancing 19.10 points, or 0.1%, to 34,466.24.

The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks finished down 0.5% at 4,239.33. Most sectors finished in positive territory, with healthcare leading the gains. Utilities and information technology also performed well.

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) advanced 0.8% to finish at 14,020.33.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) declined sharply on Thursday. The so-called “investor fear index” reached an intraday low of 16.07 on a scale of 1-100, where 20 represents the historical average. It would eventually settle down 9.8% at 16.14.

In commodities, oil prices edged higher on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose 18 cents, or 0.3%, to $70.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international futures contract, gained 16 cents, or 0.2%, to $72.38 a barrel.

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In precious metals, gold edged higher on Thursday, as the August futures contract climbed $4.90,  or 0.3%, to $1,900.40 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver futures advanced 12 cents, or 0.4%, to $28.12 a troy ounce.

The Final Word: The S&P 500 pierced all-time highs on Thursday, offering further reassurance that ultra-loose monetary policy was aiding risk-on assets. The post-pandemic recovery appears to be on track, though higher inflation is raising alarm bells.