U.S. Stocks Tick Higher As Tech Stocks Rally
By Akane Otani and Anna Isaac
Rallying technology shares drove U.S. stock indexes higher Wednesday, putting the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track to post its sixth consecutive session of gains.
The blue-chip index edged up 99 points, or 0.4%, to 27009. The S&P 500 ticked up 0.5%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.9%.
With not much economic data on the docket for Wednesday, analysts said they were looking ahead to central bank meetings in the coming days. Both the European Central Bank and Federal Reserve are expected to cut interest rates in September.
"We're waiting to see policy makers react to stabilize growth," said Shawn Snyder, head of investment strategy at Citi Personal Wealth Management.
Because there is still so much uncertainty around the path of U.S.-China trade talks, "it's hard to judge what the economic outlook is," Mr. Snyder said, though he added that Citi doesn't expect a bear market in stocks in the near term.
Gains among technology shares helped push major indexes higher, with Apple extending a rally that began Tuesday after it unveiled a trio of new iPhones and monthly prices for its new video-streaming service. Shares of the phone maker were recently up 2.8%, pushing the firm's market capitalization over $1 trillion for the first time since November.
Other technology stocks jumped as well, with Facebook, Alphabet and Intel all rising at least 1%.
Earnings-related news drove additional swings among individual stocks.
Dave & Buster's Entertainment slid 6.3% after cutting its guidance.
GameStop shed 12% after reporting a loss for the most-recent quarter and giving a downbeat forecast for the year.
Elsewhere, markets in Europe and Asia were mostly higher. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.8% to notch its biggest gain in a week, and South Korea's Kospi added 0.8% after strong jobs data.
Investors have shown signs in recent days of expecting less stimulus from the ECB when it meets Thursday.
"Ahead of the ECB meeting, investors seemed to take some chips off the table with aggressive expectations being pared back," said Antoine Bouvet, senior rates strategist at ING Bank in a note.
Still, investors are still betting both the ECB and the Fed will lower rates. On Wednesday, President Trump called again for looser U.S. monetary policy, when he tweeted, "The Federal Reserve should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less, and we should then start to refinance our debt."
Expectations of lower rates helped markets climb at the start of the year, though stocks have pared some of their gains since then.
Government bond prices weakened, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rising to 1.735% from 1.706% on Tuesday after data showed producer prices rose more than expected in August. With bonds, prices move inversely to yields.
Inflation tends to hurt government bond prices because it chips away at the value of bonds' fixed payouts.
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