Nasdaq Rises to Record, Joining S&P 500 – The Wall Street Journal

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U.S. stocks rose into Monday’s closing bell, pushing the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to fresh records.

The broad S&P 500 index turned higher in the final hour of trading as investors accelerated their rotation into technology and other growth stocks. Investors’ interest in growth stocks picked up last week and carried over into Monday’s session.

Shares of Tesla, Facebook and Amazon.com all gained more than 1% Monday, while Apple and Netflix added more than 2%, helping the Nasdaq Composite Index notch its sixth advance out of the past seven trading sessions and its first record since April 26.

“Stock markets are by and large around all-time highs. We think there is still more upside there,” said Salman Baig, multiasset investment manager at Unigestion.

Other risk-on assets also rallied, including meme-stock AMC Entertainment Holdings. Crypto assets also got a boost after Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk reopened the possibility of the electric-car maker accepting bitcoin for purchases.

The gains came at the expense of reopening stocks, the primary beneficiaries of a booming economic rebound that has been under way since the U.S. began rolling out Covid-19 vaccines last fall.

Despite the latest market moves, the debate between growth and cyclical stocks continues. Some investors say the market’s path forward hinges on the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s latest two-day policy meeting starting on Tuesday.

Although most investors expect the central bank to keep rates where they are, attention will center on the Fed’s view of inflation and whether it sees any need to accelerate its timetable of interest-rate increases. Higher rates would likely inject a fresh round of volatility into markets, especially growth stocks, which are sensitive to rate increases.

“The Fed’s messaging this year will be critical,” Glenmede strategists said in a note. “The Fed needs to convey its intention to wind down ultra-accommodative policy, but at the same time convey that it has no intention of abruptly tightening policy, a fine line that could easily be miscommunicated.“

Strategists at UBS Global Wealth Management said that the recent pullback in bond yields is likely temporary, cautioning investors from rushing back into tech and other growth stocks. Already on Monday, bond yields climbed higher, with the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury nearing 1.5% again.

The move up in yields didn’t seem to faze investors. On Monday, the S&P 500 added 7.71 points, or 0.2%, to 4255.15, notching its 29th record of the year. The Nasdaq rose 104.72 points, or 0.7%, to 14174.14, its highest closing level ever.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, meanwhile, slid 85.85 points, or 0.2%, to 34393.75, as the benchmark suffered from its more cyclical bent.

Financial and materials stocks in the S&P 500 both fell at least 1%. Shares of manufacturers fared little better, declining 0.5%. Stocks popular with the reopening trade were among the hardest hit. Carnival shed 3.9% and Caesars Entertainment fell 3.3%.

Those declines were more than offset by stocks such as Apple, which added 2.5% and Tesla, up 1.3%.

Among meme stocks, AMC rallied 15% to $57. And bitcoin prices briefly rose above $40,000 for the first time in two weeks following Mr. Musk’s comments.

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 ticked up 0.2%, hitting a new record. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.7% by the close of trading, and South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.1%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index rose to a new record Monday, diverging from the Dow industrials.

Photo: Richard B. Levine/Zuma Press

Write to Anna Hirtenstein at anna.hirtenstein@wsj.com and Michael Wursthorn at Michael.Wursthorn@wsj.com

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