U.S. stocks were trading midday Thursday with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite headed for consecutive gains after a batch of strong economic data as investors waited to hear from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Shares in the S&P 500 SPX, +0.81% rose 18 points, or 0.4%, to 4,158. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.40% lost 3 points, or less than 0.1%, to 32,966. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +1.14% advanced 89 points, or 0.7%, to 12,520.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60 points, or 0.18%, to 32,969, the S&P 500 rose 12 points, or 0.29%, to 4,141, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 50 points, or 0.41%, to 12432. The 500 is up 12.9% from its mid-June low, but remains down 13.1% year to date. What’s Driving Markets US stocks were mostly higher on Thursday after revised readings on the performance of the US and German economies in the second quarter, along with news of more fiscal stimulus from the china However, low trading volume was contributing to exaggerated intraday swings. A revised second-quarter gross domestic product reading showed the German economy grew 0.1% in the second quarter, which was better than economists had expected.
Meanwhile, in the US, the first revision of second-quarter GDP figures showed the economy contracted by just 0.6%, better than the 0.9% contraction in the original reading. See: GDP shrank at an annual rate of 0.6% in the second quarter, but it wasn’t all bad news Eric Diton, president and CEO of Wealth Alliance, said U.S. stocks had good reason to celebrate the latest GDP reading for the second quarter. “The underlying data doesn’t show a recession, and that’s pretty ideal for this market because this market is praying for a soft landing,” Diton said. The stock also struggled with low trading volume, which helped exaggerate market swings. Wednesday’s session saw just 8.8 billion shares traded across Wall Street.
That was the lowest volume so far this year and a 26% decline from the daily average in 2022, according to Dow Jones data. Market strategists blamed the low trading volume on seasonal factors, as well as a reluctance among some investors to make bold bets before Powell speaks at the Kansas City Fed’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Friday. Investors will look to Powell’s comments for clues about the Fed’s policy direction, an issue that has largely determined the market’s trajectory of late. The market got another taste of Fed speech on Thursday, when Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said he would like the Fed to raise its benchmark rate target north of 3.4% and let it “settle for a while”.
In other economic news, the number of Americans who filed for jobless benefits last week fell to a one-month low of 243,000, indicating that layoffs remain near record lows. See: Jobless claims fall to one-month low of 243,000 with no sign of increased layoffs. Investors were also grappling with a series of decidedly mixed earnings reports from a handful of tech companies released after the closing bell on Wednesday. Shares of Salesforce CRM, -5.09% fell nearly 7%, while Snowflake SNOW, +22.89% instead rose more than 16% after its numbers and forecasts had a good reception Meanwhile, shares of Tesla Inc. TSLA, -1.18% traded marginally lower, erasing its gains from the premarket session, as a stock split took effect at the open.
The electric vehicle maker’s board approved the 3-for-1 split on August 5. Stocks in focus U.S.-listed Chinese stocks rose after a Wall Street Journal report that U.S. and Chinese regulators are nearing a deal to allow U.S. auditors to travel to Hong Kong to inspect the registration of Chinese companies listed in New York.
The shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA, +8.06% recovered more than 7%. The shares of iQiyi Inc. IQ, +7.95% gained 6.9%, shares of JD.com Inc. JD, +9.47% of Bilibili Inc. and Huya Inc. HUYA, +10.80% each rose more than 8%. Shares of electric vehicle company NIO Inc. NIO, +5.91% gained more than 5%. Shares of Peloton Interactive Inc. PTON, -19.03% fell nearly 20% after the company posted a big loss in the most recent quarter. A day ago, the stock rebounded on news that the company would begin selling its products on Amazon.com. Shares of Nvidia Corporation NVDA traded higher despite disappointing earnings posted Wednesday night.
Other semiconductor companies also benefited, with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD and Micron Technology Inc. MU, both among the biggest gainers in the S&P 500 with gains of more than 4%. NetApp Inc., NTAP, +6.95% a provider of enterprise data, storage and cloud management, rose more than 6% after a strong earnings report.
Royal Caribbean Group RCL, +4.15% and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings NCLH, +3.73% rose 3.9% and 4.5%, respectively. How are other assets doing Oil futures were lower as U.S. crude CL.1, -1.62% fell 1% to $94.96 a barrel. The 10-year Treasury yield TMUBMUSD10Y, 3.034%, fell 2.9 basis points to 3.083%. The ICE Dollar Index DXY, -0.17% fell 0.2% to 108.50, while gold GC00, +0.47% rose 0.4% to $1,768 l ounce Bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.69% advanced 1.8% to $21,746.
Asian markets received a further boost from the latest stimulus in China. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, +3.63% rose 3.6% and the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.97% rose 1%. In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 600 SXXP, +0.30% rose 0.4%. — Jamie Chisholm contributed to this article. Learn how to incorporate ESG into your investment portfolio. Join Jennifer Grancio, CEO of Engine No. 1, at the Best New Ideas in Money Festival on September 21 and 22 in New York.