Nasdaq hits record high close due to tech rally

The Nasdaq surged to a record high close on Monday, while the S&P 500 approached its own record level, with both indexes lifted by Nvidia and other technology stocks.

The benchmark S&P 500 reached just shy of its February 19 intraday record high after testing that level for much of last week, while the Dow Jones was weighed down by losses in financial and industrial stocks.

Nvidia Corp was among the top boosts to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq for the day, surging by 6.7 percent to a record high after two analysts raised their price targets ahead of the chipmaker's quarterly results on Wednesday.

Tesla shares charged up 11.2 percent to a record close of 1,835.64 U.S. dollars.

In June, the Nasdaq became the first of the major Wall Street indexes to recoup its coronavirus-induced losses as several of its largest constituents, including Inc and Netflix Inc, benefited from curbs on social activity.

Lowe's Cos Inc and Home Depot Inc each rose more than two percent ahead of their earnings later in the week. The two home improvement chains are expected to have received a bump to their quarterly sales from consumers looking to do minor repair work while spending more time at home.

The S&P 500 retailing index climbed by 1.4 percent, with heavyweights Walmart Inc and Target Corp also set to report results this week.

"Earnings season in general has been much better than expected, but a big part of that is because the expectation has been so low," said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird in Milwaukee.

Rackspace Technology jumped by over 10 percent after Reuters reported Amazon is in early talks to invest in the cloud services provider.

As of Friday, 457 companies in the S&P 500 had posted results, of which 81.4 percent came in above dramatically lowered expectations, according to Refinitiv data.

Minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting, due on Wednesday, are expected to provide more insight into the central bank's view of an economic recovery, while housing starts data is also on tap.

Caution is expected to seep into markets ahead of the November U.S. presidential vote, as the election season kicks into higher gear with the Democratic National Convention, which runs Monday through Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 0.31 percent to end at 27,844.91 points, while the S&P 500 gained by 0.27 percent to 3,381.99.

The Nasdaq Composite climbed by 1 percent to 11,129.73, its fifth closing high this month. Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors rose, with technology providing the biggest support to the S&P 500 index.

The S&P 500 posted 29 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 85 new highs and 12 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 7.9 billion shares, compared with the 10.0 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

(Cover: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, U.S. /Reuters)

Source(s): Reuters