More blowout profits from tech companies push S&P 500 higher

More blowout profits from tech companies push S&P 500 higher

US crude futures settled up 4 cents at $43.39 a barrel.

Analysts say the Fed chief could change the policy focus to allow inflation to rise above 2.0 percent for a time, to allow the economy to heat up and unemployment to fall.

Oil prices traded little changed, pressured by worries about the demand outlook during the coronavirus pandemic but buoyed as US producers shut output in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Laura. In the negative column was Westshore Terminals Investment, losing 11.02% after a new deal with Teck Resources to transport coal disappointed investors. The stay-at-home favorite has surged about 67% since the final closing bell of 2019.

The S&P 500 is up 247.95 points, or 7.7%.

"There's this confidence that regardless of what happens with COVID, these companies have proven that they're open for business", he said.

Producers evacuated 310 offshore facilities and shut 1.56 million barrels per day of crude output, 84% of Gulf of Mexico's offshore production - near the 90% outage that Hurricane Katrina brought 15 years ago.

The tech sector climbed 1.5 per cent, but seven of the 11 major S&P sectors eased.

Energy was the biggest percentage loser among S&P 500 sectors, dropping 2.2% as Hurricane Laura bore down on the Texas-Louisiana coastline, posing the largest threat to USA energy assets since 2005′s Hurricane Katrina.

The benchmark index rose 1%, even though most of the stocks within it closed lower.

Economic recovery was forefront in Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's remarks made as part of the Kansas City Fed's virtual Jackson Hole symposium.

In point of fact, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq had ended up the day in all-time closing highs on record, a drag on Apple Inc. stocks ahead of its four-to-one split had heavily impacted all three key indices of the Wall St, as the reshuffle in stock splits would decline Apple Inc.'s weight in Dow Jones Industrial Average and would eventually goad a reshuffle in the blue-chip stocks, while Exxon Mobil Corp.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co rose 3.6% after its full-year profit outlook beat expectations, while tax software firm Intuit Inc advanced 1.8% on a 17% rise in quarterly revenue.

The financial sector provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Dow, pushing the former to its fifth straight record closing high and the latter within a hair's breadth of reclaiming positive territory for the year so far.

Cosmetics maker Coty Inc shed 5.5% after posting a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, as demand for its beauty products took a hit from the closure of stores and parlors.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.53-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.35-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

Volume on USA exchanges was 8.55 billion shares, compared with the 9.42 billion average over the last 20 trading days.