Tech Rally Sends S&P 500 to All-Time Record Close

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Markets ended the day mixed Tuesday. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 rose but the Dow fell. However, the S&P 500, pulled higher by the tech-heavy Nasdaq, hit a new intraday record, trading as high as 3,395.06, and surpassing its February 19 record, marking a full recovery even amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"While the S&P breaking through the intraday high is psychologically interesting, these kind of milestones should be taken in stride," said Chris Larkin, Managing Director, Trading and Investment Product, E*TRADE Financial Corporation.

"It may hold some short-term importance for traders who have built this into their strategy, but for the most part anybody participating in the market should look past these relatively arbitrary moves and focus more on fundamentals," he added.

Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Report was the top gainer for the S&P 500, up more than 5%. JD.com Inc  (JD) - Get Report, a Chinese e-commerce company, rose nearly 5%, making it the Nasdaq’s top gainer. The top gainer for the Dow, Nike  (NKE) - Get Report, rose just over 1%.

Consumer discretionary performed the best Tuesday, with the energy sector falling the most. Seven of the 11 sectors were in the red Tuesday.

U.S. housing starts jumped 22.6% in July from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.496 million amid record low interest rates. The gains were the most since October 2016. 

Home Depot posted much stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Tuesday as sales far outpaced analysts' forecasts even amid the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. Walmart Inc. also posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings.

In politics, the Democratic National Convention begins its second day. Tuesday night's speakers include Chuck Schumer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former President Bill Clinton.

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