Big Tech, Vaccine Optimism Give Stocks a Leg Up

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq locked up their fifth-straight win

Fernanda Horner
Aug 26, 2020 at 4:34 PM
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Stocks finished on a high note on Wednesday, lifted by positive coronavirus vaccine news as well as a red-hot tech sector. The Dow finished the day close to 100 points higher for its fourth win in five days. The S&P 500 scored its fifth-straight win and fresh intraday record high, while the Nasdaq went one further and locked up its fifth-straight record close, led higher by FAANG names Facebook (FB) and Netflix (NFLX). Now, all eyes turn to the Federal Reserve's annual symposium, in which remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell will offer details on further stimulus, inflation, and its impact on the dollar.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

    • A luxury retailer reported steep second-quarter losses.
    • Salesforce stock had the best day after beating Wall Street's estimates.
    • Plus, options bulls and analysts alike blast IT stock; Whirlpool stock could keep spinning higher; and a pharma stock prosecuted by the government.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 28,331.92) added 83.5 points, or 0.3% for the day. Microsoft (MSFT) finished with a 2.7% jump, pacing the 27 gainers. Exxon Mobil (XOM) paced the 13 laggards with a 2.1% fall.

    Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,478.7) earned 35.1 points, or 1% for the day. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 11,665.06) gained 198.6 points, or 1.7% for today's session.

    Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 23.27) added 1.2 points, or 5.6% for the day.

     closing summary august 26

    nyse nasdaq august 26

    1. The Atlantic hurricane season is on track to become one of the worst in history, with 19 to 25 storms, of which seven to 11 could develop into hurricanes. (CNBC)
    2. Facebook and Twitter executives are concerned about misinformation regarding mail-in votes in the days following the 2020 presidential election(MarketWatch) 
    3. Whirlpool stock is currently trading near multi-year highs.
    4. This IT stock was the center of attention after an earnings beat.
    5. Teva Pharmaceuticals was charged with conspiring to increase drug prices.

    earnings august 26

    unusual options august 26

    Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

    Oil Inches Higher as Hurricane Laura Looms

    Oil futures edged higher on Wednesday, hitting a five-month high as Hurricane Laura tore through the Gulf of Mexico, where 45% of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity is located. Meanwhile, crude output data showed a fifth-straight decline in domestic inventories. As a result, October-dated crude added 4 cents to end at $43.64 a barrel.

    Gold futures also finished higher, as traders looked ahead to Fed Chair Powell’s speech tomorrow. Gains were capped by the rise of the 10-year treasury yield, though. Gold for December, the most-active contract, jumped $29.40, or 1.5%, to settle at $1,952.50 an ounce.


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