camila August 31, 2021

NEW YORK (AFP) – The S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended at records for the second day straight Monday (Aug 30) as Wall Street traders bet the US economy would continue recovering from the pandemic.

The broad-based S&P 500 finished 0.4 per cent higher at 4,528.79, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.9 per cent to close at 15,265.89.

However, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.2 per cent to end at 35,399.84.

Preeminent on traders’ minds is the fast-spreading Delta variant of Covid-19, which has forced some businesses to reimpose mask-wearing rules.

Another worry is Hurricane Ida, which struck the major petroleum hub of southern Louisiana and could potentially hit oil markets.

But investors were encouraged by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s indication Friday that while the central bank may pull back its monetary stimulus by the end of the year, it is not likely raise interest rates for some time.

“Even if it wasn’t a surprise, we can still say that Powell was a little more accommodating than expected and the idea of investors today is that, if he is more accommodating, it is because there may still be a slowdown in the economy,” Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services told AFP.

Tech equities benefited in Monday’s trading, and Volokhine said markets may also be waiting for the government employment report for August due out Friday, which will give an update on the recovery of the US economy after Covid-19 caused mass job losses last year.

Apple’s stock rose three per cent after it announced it is buying classical music streaming service Primephonic and will launch an app dedicated to the genre.