U.S. stocks were flat on Wednesday as investors took a pause a day after the NASDAQ Composite closed above 15,000 for the first time ever.
The Dow Jones Industrials eked higher 16.83 points to 35,383.09.
The S&P 500 gained 3.85 points to 4,490.08, surpassing Tuesday’s all-time record close.
The NASDAQ Composite improved on Tuesday’s record by 13.97 points to 15,033.77. Tuesday’s was the NASDAQ’s 29th record close of 2021. The tech-heavy benchmark is now up more than 126% from its pandemic low.
Markets have been boosted by signs that delta variant cases could be peaking. Fundstrat’s Tom Lee said in a note to clients late Tuesday that the worst may be behind us, citing a falling positivity rate in Florida and Texas.
Johnson & Johnson said on Wednesday that its COVID vaccine booster shot showed promising results in early stage clinical trials, significantly increasing virus-fighting antibodies.
Wells Fargo Securities head of equity strategy Christopher Harvey also sees more gains on the horizon. He lifted his year-end target to 4,825 on Tuesday, which is 7.5% above where the index finished the day. Harvey’s call is based on the S&P’s strength through August carrying over into the final months of the year.
Several tech companies will report earnings on Wednesday after the market closes, including Dow component Salesforce. Box and Snowflake are also on deck.
The much anticipated Jackson Hole symposium kicks off on Thursday, where central bankers will potentially provide updates on their plan around tapering monetary stimulus. The Federal Reserve has been purchasing at least $120 billion of bonds per month to curb longer-term interest rates and jumpstart economic growth as the pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy.
Chairman Jerome Powell is slated to make remarks on Friday.
Prices for 10-Year Treasurys dipped, pulling up yields to 1.31% from Tuesday’s 1.30%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices fell 22 cents to $67.32 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices dwindled $18.70 to $1,789.80 U.S. an ounce.