Wall Street indexes scale fresh record-highs on tech gains
The three main U.S. indexes climbed to fresh record-highs for the fourth day in a row on Thursday, fueled by gains in technology stocks, including Microsoft and Amazon.com.
Nine of the 11 major S&P indexes were higher, led by the information technology and financial sectors. Tech stocks, which have powered much of the recent rally, have risen about 26 percent this year.
"Investors are planning years in the future and so I don`t think valuation (of tech stocks) really matters to the people who are buying them as a momentum sort of investing play," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
Data on Thursday pointed to underlying strength in the economy despite weather-related disruptions, with the trade deficit narrowing in August and jobless claims falling more than expected last week.
New orders for goods made in the United States rose in August and orders for core capital goods were stronger than the previous figures.
"We are continuing to get good economic news globally, specifically out of the U.S.," Forrest said. "It looks like the U.S. economy continues to expand and that is what is driving today."
Focus will now shift to the more comprehensive monthly jobs report, which is due on Friday.
Investors are also gearing up for the upcoming third-quarter corporate earnings season.
Earnings of S&P 500 companies are expected to rise 5.5 percent in the quarter from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters data. That would be down from double-digit growth in the first two quarters of this year.
The benchmark S&P 500 is likely to finish this year at 2,525, about 13 percent higher than where it was at the end of 2016, based on the median forecast of 47 strategists polled by Reuters.
At 12:37 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 89.67 points, or 0.4 percent, at 22,751.31, the S&P 500 was up 12.64 points, or 0.49 percent, at 2,550.38.
The Nasdaq Composite index was up 40.25 points, or 0.62 percent, at 6,574.88.
Shares of Netflix were up 4 percent after the company raised the monthly subscription fees for two of its three main U.S. plans by $1 and $2, respectively.
Amazon was up 1.2 percent after the world`s largest online retailer said that it was testing its own delivery service, potentially encroaching on the territory of package delivery companies such as United Parcel Services and FedEx Corp.
JP Morgan and Bank of America were higher after Randal Quarles was confirmed as vice chair of Federal Reserve. The banking sector widely expects Quarles to play a key part in U.S. President Donald Trump`s efforts to ease regulations.
Constellation Brands was up 4 percent after the brewer beat Wall Street`s profit estimates for the ninth straight quarter.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,884 to 892. On the Nasdaq, 1,814 issues rose and 980 fell.