US stocks close higher on the strong performance of tech stocks

But financials and consumer staples weighed on the blue-chip DJIA

Apple Inc. - Wall Street to head higher ahead of Apple product launch event, Fed eyed

4:05pm EST: Wall Street keeps the momentum going  

US stocks closed higher Tuesday as tech stocks continued their strong performance from the previous explosive session. 

The S&P 500 rose 0.52% to 3,401 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.2% to 11,190. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average only managed to post a paltry 0.01% gain to 27,995 on lagging financials and consumer staples.

5pm/12pm EST:  FTSE 100 closes ahead

FTSE 100 posted a positive finish on Tuesday as US tech stocks rose once again and UK chancellor Rishi Sunak hinted there may be more jobs support after the furlough scheme ends.

Britain's benchmark of leading shares finished the day up around 79 points, or 1.32%, to 6,105.

"While fears of a spike in bankruptcies and job losses had been holding back sentiment ahead of the ending of furlough next month, comments from Rishi Sunak over his willingness to support jobs “in a creative way” shows the potential for further action in the weeks ahead," noted Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at online trader IG

Top riser on Footsie was online grocer Ocado (LON:OCDO), which surged over 10% to 2,598p as it hailed the successful switch to Marks & Spencer (LON:MKS) reporting a 50% jump in retail sales for the third quarter.

US and Canada 11.30am EST/4.30pm

Wall Street benchmarks were heading higher on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up over 145 points at 28,139. The S&P 500 added 31 points at 3,414. The tech heavy Nasdaq exchange added 152 points at 11,208. Up in Toronto, the TSX surged over 133 points at 16,493.

3.30pm/10.30am EST: Proactive North America headlines:

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9.40am : Wall Street up

Wall Street has seen a positive start on Wednesday, as expected, as investors appeared to be in a positive mood ahead of the Fed’s meeting and Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) product launch.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.77% to 28,210, while the S&P 500 rose 0.88% to 3,413 and the Nasdaq climbed 1.2% to 11,189.

Investors seemed particularly keen on shares in the tech giant ahead of the announcements, with Apple’s shares up 1.9% at US$117.50 in early deals.

Meanwhile, some analysts are saying that the outcome of the Fed’s meeting on Wednesday could also prove to be a movement catalyst for gold prices, which are closing in US$2,000 per ounce.

“The [Fed’s] decision to amend its framework last month has people seemingly convinced that we're going to hear something that will push rates lower, hit the dollar and be the catalyst for gold's run at US$2,000”, said OANDA’s Craig Erlam.

“This is a perfectly reasonable assumption with it being the first meeting since the announcement but I just wonder whether the rebound we've seen in inflation over the last couple of months may affect its desire to make bold promises. It's going to be an interesting one and with the dollar momentum showing signs of shifting, I do wonder whether it's poised for a surge in the event that the Fed underdelivers. This would be bad news for the yellow metal”, he added.

8.05am: Wall Street to head higher ahead of Apple product launch event, Fed eyed

The main indices on Wall Street are expected to start on the front foot on Tuesday as investors eyed new product news from Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and the start of the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting meeting ahead of its interest rate decision tomorrow.

Spread-betters are expecting the Dow Jones Industrial Average to open up around 186 points at 28,175, while the S&P 500 is forecast to add 23 points to 3,406 and the Nasdaq is predicted to start 124 points higher at 11,400.

The market will want to hear any clues about the timing of a release for a new iPhone, which is not expected today, as well for the level of improvements to products like the iPad and Apple Watch.

Tech-oriented investors have been also waiting for plans for a new 5G phone, however an announcement of the sort may be further delayed amid the pandemic.

According to analysts, the success of the new iPhone SE could well prompt Apple to focus more on the lower end of the iPhone market when it comes to its new iPhone 12, given the current global slowdown.

 “Apple certainly needs to do more to justify its current US$2trn valuation, and while the recent share split has made the shares cheaper and as such, more readily available to so-called RobinHood retail traders, there is a risk that its current valuation isn’t truly reflective of the underlying fundamentals,” said Michael Hewson at CMC Markets.

Remaining in the industry, analysts at Spreadex are also waiting for White House reaction following the TikTok/Oracle deal.

Meanwhile, investors may also have been buoyed by positive economic data out of China, which showed that retail sales in the country grew 0.5% in August, the first time so far in 2020.

Six things to watch for on Tuesday:

  • Third quarter results from software group Adobe Inc (NASDAQ:ADBE), which some analysts are expecting to beat market estimates, although analysts will likely keep an eye on any signs of growth deceleration
  • There will also be quarterly earnings data from restaurant chain Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc (NASDAQ:CBRL), which is predicted to suffer a hit to sales as it counts the cost of the US lockdown measures
  • The first day of dealings for cloud computing group Snowflake Inc, which is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE:BRK.A) and Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE:CRM)
  • The latest New York Empire State Manufacturing Index data for September will be eyed to see if growth has picked up after the index slumped to 3.7 in August from 17.2 in July and well below market forecasts of 15. The latest numbers are likely to provide clarity on the state of the wobbling US economic recovery
  • US industrial production data for August will also be eyed to gauge the state of the American economy, with production rising 3% month-on-month in August but still around 8.7% below the pre-pandemic level in February
  • Similarly, US manufacturing data for the same month will serve a similar purpose as investors hope for a continued reduction in the pace of the slowdown, which has fallen by a lesser amount every month since a sharp 19.7% contraction in April

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