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S&P 500, Nasdaq Reach New Record Closing Highs, Dow Closes Modestly Lower

wallstreet sept12 30aug21 lt

Following the advance seen last Friday, stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. With the upward move, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq reached new record closing highs.

The S&P 500 rose 19.42 points or 0.4 percent to 4,528.79 and the Nasdaq climbed 136.39 points or 0.9 percent to 15,265.89. Meanwhile, the narrower Dow edged down 55.96 points or 0.2 percent to 35,399.84.

Stocks continued to benefit from recent upward momentum, which helped lift the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record closing highs last Friday.

Traders remain optimistic about the outlook for the markets even though the Federal Reserve has signaled it plans to begin scaling back its asset purchases later this year.

The Fed's asset purchase program has helped prop up stocks throughout much of the coronavirus pandemic, but traders seem to believe the strength of the economy will provide continued support.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comments last Friday suggesting interest rate hikes remain a long way off have also increased the appeal of stocks.

Trading activity was somewhat subdued, however, as investors looked ahead to the release of the Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.

Reports on consumer confidence, manufacturing and service sector activity, and factory orders may also attract attention in the coming days.

Computer hardware stocks showed a strong move to the upside, contributing to the advance by the tech-heavy Nasdaq, with the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index climbing by 1.5 percent.

Retail, commercial real estate and software stocks also moved notably higher on the day.

On the other hand, airline stocks moved sharply lower, dragging the NYSE Arca Airline Index down by 2.7 percent.

Oil service, banking and gold stocks also moved to the downside, limiting the upside for the broader markets.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.5 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index edged up by 0.2 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside, although the U.K. markets were closed for a holiday. While the German DAX Index rose by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index crept up by 0.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries extended the advance seen in the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 2.7 basis points at 1.285 percent.

Looking ahead, reports on home prices, consumer confidence and Chicago-area business activity may attract attention on Tuesday.

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