Nasdaq logs second straight closing high

06/23/2021 | 06:20pm

Tech stocks once again powered Wall Street on Wednesday, driving the Nasdaq to its second consecutive record closing high, but the buying didn't spill over to the broader market.

The Dow was down 71 points. The S&P 500 dipped into the close. The Nasdaq gained 18 points.

Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer, Independent Advisor Alliance says the market is still in a tug-of war between interest rate and inflation outlook expectations.

"Right now, it seems like we're in a trading range. I think, as people trying to decide is inflation transitory or is it something that's a little bit more persistent, that's really what's driving the push and pull. And you're seeing interest rates move slightly higher and lower and therefore cyclicals versus growth maybe slightly higher and lower. And I think that explains a lot of the market action today."

Microsoft is one of the so-called growth stocks that was a standout Wednesday. The tech giant is poised to close with a $2 trillion market cap for the first time.

Other market movers included vaccine makers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it will add a warning about rare cases of heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults to fact sheets for the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine as well as the Moderna vaccine, but added the benefits of the shots still appeared to clearly outweigh the risks. Shares of Moderna fell more than 4 percent. BioNTech lost nearly 3 percent. Pfizer was down more than 1 percent.

On the economic front, sales of new homes slumped to a one-year low in May. Sales have fallen two straight months, hampered by high price tags and costly lumber prices. The median sales price for a new home soared 18.1 percent from a year ago to more than $374,000.

And a measure of activity in the factory sector jumped to a record high this month, according to a preliminary private survey. Manufacturers are still struggling with supply shortages, however. The strength coming from factory floors is bolstering expectations that second-quarter economic growth could be in the double digits.

© Reuters 2021
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