August 21, 2020

Nasdaq, S&P end week with new records, Dow +0.7%

Nasdaq, S&P end week with new records, Dow +0.7%

Wall Street ended a historically prosperous week on a high note Friday, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 posting new records while the Dow also gained.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent to close at 27,930.33.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent to finish at 3,397.16, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 0.4 percent to end at 11,311.80, adding to its tally of more than 30 record closes in 2020.

Tech stocks have performed well despite the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with Apple making history this week when it became the first company to reach $2 trillion in market value. Its stock was up 5.2 percent at the close, an all-time high.

Other technology companies, including Amazon, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet, all of which now have more than $1 trillion in market value.

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“The market is still attracted to those tech names as concerns over economic growth continues,” said Quincy Krosby of Prudential.

She pointed to minutes of the Federal Reserve’s July policy meeting released this week that highlighted the continuing vulnerability of the US economy.

However, she noted that late August is a notoriously slow trading period, which can produce big price swings on the least bit of news.

The Dow was virtually flat for the week, while the Nasdaq was up 2.7 percent and the S&P 500 0.7 percent.

Also fueling Friday’s rally was the record 24.7 percent surge in US existing home sales in July, reported by the National Association of Realtors, a sign the housing market is booming even as Congress remains deadlocked on additional fiscal aid.

Among other companies, farm equipment manufacturer Deere & Co climbed 4.4 percent at the close on a strong earnings report.