S&P 500 enters second half of year at new highs

The S&P 500 index started the second half of 2021 at a record high on July 1 as last week’s US unemployment data came in lower than expected.

Outside the headquarters of the New York Stock Exchange, USA. Photo: AFP

Ten out of 11 stock groups in the S&P basket all gained, with energy, financial, industrial, and materials stocks leading the rally.

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits in the US last week fell by 51,000 to 364,000, while the number of people who were laid off in June fell to a 21-year low as US businesses implemented a policy of keeping jobless. foot of workers in the context of staff shortage.

Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer at financial services firm Cornerstone Wealth, said: “The rise in unemployment is a real bright spot.” “Keeping the number of people applying for unemployment benefits below 400,000 could bolster confidence in taking risks during the summer days,” said Cliff Hodge.

Meanwhile, data from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) in the US showed that the country’s manufacturing activity grew at a moderate pace in June.

In addition to the two S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes hitting new highs in a row last month, investors are focusing on nonfarm payrolls – the US jobs market report – due to be released on July 2. . Better non-farm payrolls may force the US Federal Reserve (Fed) to adjust its policy stance.

Market focus will also be on corporate earnings reports for the second quarter of 2021 in the coming weeks to gauge whether the momentum in the first half of the year can continue for the rest of the year.

Peter Cardillo, Head of Markets at Spartan Capital Securities (New York) said: “Investors can make a bullish forecast, but I don’t think it’s bullish. we’re on the cusp of any major correction.”

At 11:38 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 82.70 points, or 0.24%, to 34,585.21, while the S&P 500 gained 11. 28 points, or 0.26%, to 4,308.78 points. In contrast, the Nasdaq Composite lost 39.56 points, or 0.27%, to 14,464.40.

To date, the S&P has hit 25 new 52-week highs with no new losses, while the Nasdaq has hit 48 new gains and 19 new losses.

Shares of pharmaceutical company Walgreens Boots Alliance fell 5.7% last night after lowering its forecast for the number of Covid-19 vaccines to be injected this year. Micron Technology shares also slipped 5.4% despite the chipmaker’s better-than-expected second-quarter profit and forecast for fourth-quarter revenue to also rise above expectations.

Meanwhile, shares of Chinese ride-hailing platform Didi Global rose 14.1%, a day after the stock inched slightly from its initial US offering price on July 1. With this price increase, Didi Global now has a market capitalization of $68.49 billion.

Shares of MGM Resorts International rose slightly overnight after the US casino operator announced it would buy the remaining 50% stake in the joint venture CityCenter Holdings, worth $ 2.125 billion from Infinity World Development.