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Nasdaq ends at record high as Big Tech roars back

Nasdaq ends at record high as Big Tech roars back

FILE PHOTO: The front facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in New York, U.S., February 12, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

REUTERS: The Nasdaq ended at a record high on Tuesday, lifted by Amazon, Microsoft and other top-shelf tech companies as investors shifted their focus to growth stocks.

Microsoft rose 1.1per cent and its stock market value briefly breached US$2 trillion for the first time, while Apple, Facebook and Amazon also rallied more than 1per cent each.

Amazon had over US$5.6 billion in total online sales in the United States on the first day of its Prime promotional event, according to Adobe Digital Economy Index.

In a congressional hearing, meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed the U.S. central bank's intent to encourage a "broad and inclusive" recovery of the job market and not to raise interest rates too quickly based only on the fear of coming inflation.

So-called value stocks, expected to benefit from the economic recovery, have outperformed in 2021, while growth stocks, including major tech names like Apple and Nvidia, have rallied since the Fed last week took a stance on future rate hikes viewed by many as more aggressive than expected.

The S&P growth index has added almost 2per cent since before the Fed last Wednesday projected an accelerated timetable for interest rate increases, compared with a drop of almost 2per cent in the value index.

"The market was caught off guard regarding the Fed’s hawkish commentary, and that’s 100per cent of what is happening," said Andrew Mies, chief investment officer of 6 Meridian. "All the smart people were surprised about how hawkish the Fed was, and now they are adjusting their portfolios."

Nine of the 11 major S&P sector indexes rose, with consumer discretionary and tech the biggest gainers, each up about 1per cent.

(Graphic: S&P 500 sectors YTD, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/oakvebdxapr/Pastedper cent20imageper cent201624375167038.png)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2per cent to end at 33,945.58, while the S&P 500 gained 0.51per cent to 4,246.44.

The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.79per cent to 14,253.27.

GameStop jumped 10per cent after the videogame retailer said it raised over US$1 billion in its latest share offering, cashing in further on this year's Reddit-driven surge in its stock price.

Sanderson Farms rallied about 10per cent to a record high after J.P. Morgan raised its price target on the stock after a source told Reuters that the poultry producer was exploring a sale.

Twitter ended almost 3per cent higher after it said it will seek applications from users to test new content subscription and ticketing features, as the social platform works to build more ways for users to earn money.

Moderna Inc rose 6.3per cent after the European Union decided to take up an option under a supply contract with the drugmaker that allows the bloc to order 150 million additional COVID-19 vaccines.

Splunk Inc surged over 11per cent after the data analytics software maker said private equity firm Silver Lake invested US$1 billion in the company's convertible senior notes.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.26-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.08-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 28 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 78 new highs and 56 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 9.5 billion shares, compared with the 11.1 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

(Additional reporting by Devik Jain, Sujata Rao-Coverley and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel, Sonya Hepinstall and Dan Grebler)

Source: Reuters

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