Wall Street mixed as S&P 500 on track for best August in 36 years

By Administrator_India

Capital Sands

The S&P 500 hovered near record highs on Monday as bets on a rebound in economic activity due to prolonged central bank support put the index on course for its best August in more than three decades.

The Federal Reserve’s commitment to tolerate inflation and keep interest rates low, positive developments in vaccines and treatments for Covid-19 and a momentum-driven rally in tech-focused stocks have helped the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit consecutive all-time highs.

The newly reshuffled Dow slipped, and was within 3.7% of its record close on Feb. 12, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed another 0.7% to a new peak.

New entrants to the blue-chip index, Salesforce.com Inc , Honeywell International Inc and Amgen Inc , slipped between 0.3% and 1.2%.

Ousted companies Exxon Mobil Corp fell 1.2%, while Pfizer Inc and Raytheon Technologies Corp saw muted trading.

Technology stocks, consumer discretionary and healthcare outperformed among the major S&P sectors.

The three main indexes are also set for their fifth straight monthly rise following March lows, with the S&P 500 looking at its biggest percentage rise in August since 1984, even as economic data pointed to an uneven recovery from the steep downturn.

China data showing a solid pace of expansion in the services sector this month lifted spirits at the start of the week. Focus will now be on the August US jobs report slated for Friday.

US presidential campaigns are set to take center-stage in the coming weeks with market volatility expected to spike ahead of polling in November.

Among early movers, Aimmune Therapeutics Inc’s shares more than doubled after Swiss food group Nestle SA offered to pay $2 billion for full ownership of the peanut allergy treatment maker.

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