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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.

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 Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Report,  (AMZN) - Get, Inc. Report and Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc 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.  (CRM) - Get, inc. 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. 

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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.