Publish date:

S&P 500 at Another Record Close to Finish Strong First Half

The S&P 500 again closes at a record despite fears about the spread of a highly infectious coronavirus strain.

The S&P 500 on Wednesday posted its fourth consecutive winning close and reached a record despite investors' concern about the spread of a highly infectious coronavirus strain.

Equities ended mixed even after private payrolls data showed that in June U.S. companies added more jobs than expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 210 points, or 0.61%, to 34,502, the S&P 500 ticked up 0.13% while the Nasdaq eased 0.17%.

The S&P 500 was up 2.2% for June. The broad-market index gained for the fifth straight month. It rose 8.2% in the second quarter and 14.4% so far in 2021.

The Dow industrials ticked down 27 points for the month. The blue chips tacked on 4.6% in the quarter and have risen 12.7% so far this year.

As for the Nasdaq, it moved up 5.5% for the month, 9.5% for the quarter and 12.5% for 2021 to date.

The economy added nearly 700,000 new private-sector jobs last month, according to payroll processor ADP. But a downward revision to April's figures indicated uneven improvement in the labor market even as the U.S. recovery continues to outpace forecasts heading into the second half of the year.

The official U.S. jobs report for June - the most closely watched economic indicator of any month - will be released on Friday. 

TST Recommends

Jim Cramer: Hands Down, RH Had the Best Quarter vs. Expectations

The worrying rise of the more contagious delta variant of the virus in Europe and Asia dented sentiment on Wall Street following another record stock market close.

The S&P 500 rose just 0.03% on Tuesday but still managed to close at a record

A report on U.S. consumer confidence for June rose to the highest level since the pandemic began last year. 

It was the fifth straight monthly gain for the measure, with consumers' short-term optimism rebounding "buoyed by expectations that business conditions and their own financial prospects will continue improving in the months ahead,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.

Confidence in the economy's rebound came as concerns remain that the Federal Reserve could pull back on support if inflation runs too hot and that outbreaks of the highly contagious delta variant could stall a global recovery.

For now, however, stocks have rallied on prospects for a strong bounce-back and the belief that the Fed will keep interest rates low for a while longer.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dipped Wednesday to 1.444%.