Both the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq set new records on Tuesday, underpinned by the continuing rally in technology shares like Apple (AAPL) and Tesla (TSLA) — which both soared after their stocks split on Monday. If the trend in stock futures holds, both tech stocks and the broader market will open at fresh highs at Wednesday’s opening bell.
Historically, September tends to be a weak month for stocks. In fact, according to LPL Financial, it has been the worst-performing for markets, on average, since 1950. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) has dropped about 1% on average that month since 1950, LPL data shows.
The Dow also advanced after a tepid start to Tuesday’s session, with a host of technology stocks like Zoom, (ZM), Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT), Netflix (NFLX) and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) hitting new peaks. The cohort has been among the winners of the “work from home” phenomenon that’s defined the coronavirus era.
U.S. data continues to show resilience, with construction spending nearly flat in July, but with the prior month revised sharply higher. Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector continues to rebound, with the ISM Manufacturing Index hitting its highest levels since August 2018. New orders jumped during the month, but the employment component remained in recession territory — in line with still fragile labor market.
“The August global manufacturing data is slightly uneven across countries, but by region the message is entirely consistent with continued recovery,” noted Alan Ruskin, Deutsche Bank’s chief international strategist, on Tuesday. He added that the sector “is adjusting to the new abnormal” as lockdowns began to ease earlier in the summer.
Following the best month in decades for stocks, investors are now hopeful that a combination of support from the Federal Reserve, rising optimism for a COVID-19 vaccine that may backstop economic growth, and a new stimulus package will keep the rally going.
According to Goldman Sachs, “while equities have never been as expensive since the Tech bubble, based on a 24-month [price/earnings basis], the equity risk premium is close to an all-time high, suggesting that equities have rarely been as attractive relative to bonds.”
7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures gain as September mood brightens
Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 7:30 p.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3532.75, +5.75
Dow futures (YM=F): 28674, +52
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 12343.75, +31.75
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