S&P 500 and Nasdaq Close at Records - Salesforce Surges

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq set intraday and closing records on Wednesday. Salesforce, joining the Dow industrials next week, surged.
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The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at records on Wednesday, driven by a surge in tech stocks.

The S&P 500 finished up 1.02% to 3,478, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.73% to 11,665, getting a boost from solid gains in Netflix  (NFLX) - Get Report, Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Report and Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report

Both exchanges also set all-time intraday highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average spent most of the session in the red before finishing up 83 points, or 0.3%, to 28,331.

Salesforce.com  (CRM) - Get Report, which has been added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average effective next week, finished up 26%. The cloud software company's adjusted earnings in the second quarter beat forecasts and revenue surged past $5 billion for the first time.

Investors have been digesting mixed signals on the strength of the economy as the U.S. reopens amid fresh outbreaks of the coronavirus. 

For instance, U.S. consumer confidence in August fell to the lowest since 2014, while new-home sales in July surged 13.9%, greater than expected.

On Wednesday, U.S. durable goods orders in July jumped 11.2% on strong demand for new cars and trucks. Excluding transportation, orders rose 2.4%.

“Depending on your point of view, data and developments may be encouraging or gloomy,” said Hayaki Narita of the Asia & Oceania Treasury Department at Mizuho Bank.

Wall Street has been awaiting a key speech on Thursday from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. That speech has taken on a new level of significance for financial markets.

Stocks have been trading at and near all-time highs, thanks in part to moves from the Federal Reserve and Congress, but the fate of the next round of government-led stimulus remains uncertain heading into the final months of the year.

Oil prices traded near five-month highs as Laura strengthened into a hurricane and headed toward refining facilities on the Gulf Coast.

West Texas Intermediate crude contracts for October delivery, the new U.S. benchmark, fell 0.3% to $43.48 a barrel.