Stocks Helped Higher by Techs

The S&P 500 and NASDAQ closed slightly higher on Wednesday, led by tech shares, as traders kept an eye on interest rates, the political uncertainty coming out of Washington and a still raging pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrials fell slightly off, losing 8.22 points to close Wednesday at 31,060.47

The S&P 500 stayed above water 8.65 points to 3,809.84

The NASDAQ grew 56.52 points to 13,128.95.

Intel jumped nearly 7% on news that CEO Bob Swan would step down, effective Feb. 15. Other tech-related names also caught a bid, with Netflix gaining 2.7% and Amazon popping 1.4%. Apple also closed higher by more than 1%.

Traders digested the latest inflation-data release, as the U.S. consumer price index rose 0.4% in December. That was in line with a Dow Jones estimate.

Following Tuesday’s muted session, the major averages remain lower for the week. The NASDAQ is the relative underperformer, down roughly 1%.

The moves come as turmoil in Washington continues. Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday night he will not remove President Donald Trump from office. That came before the Democratic-held House approved a resolution urging Pence and the Cabinet to push Trump out of the White House after he incited last week’s riot on the Capitol.

The House of Representatives plans to vote on Wednesday to impeach Trump for a second time.

COVID cases also continue to increase in the U.S. and abroad. The U.S. is recording at least 248,650 new COVID-19 cases and at least 3,223 virus-related deaths each day, based on a seven-day average calculated using Johns Hopkins University data.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained back lost ground, lowering yields to 1.10% from Tuesday’s 1.14%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices subtracted 30 cents to $52.91 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $4.50 to $1,848.70 U.S. an ounce.