S&P 500, Nasdaq hit record highs, Dow Jones lags behind

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Aug. 30 (UPI) — The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite reached record highs on Monday while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged behind as August draws to a close.

At the end of trading Monday, the S&P 500 was up 0.43% and the Nasdaq gained 0.9%, while the Dow dropped 0.16%.

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Entering Monday, the Nasdaq Composite was up 3.1% for the month of August, while the S&P 500 has risen 2.6% and the Dow had climbed 1.5%.

Major tech stocks helped lead Monday’s rise as Apple stock rose 3.04%, Facebook gained 2.15%, Microsoft increased 1.29% and Netflix closed up 1.3%.

Conversely, bank stocks lagged behind, with Capital One dropping 6.04% and Wells Fargo falling 2.81%.

Markets also received a boost after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday indicated the central bank would not quickly draw down its bond-buying practices and other monetary policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying an “ill-timed policy move” could be “particularly harmful” with the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting the economy.

Julian Emanuel BTIG chief equity and derivatives strategist, told Yahoo Finance, Powell successfully eased the minds of traders by keeping the speech short, reiterating that a taper was coming and that he “tackled inflation head-on.”

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“He knew that that’s been the preoccupation of the markets for these last couple of months,” said Emanuel. “While he didn’t give any new real evidence as to why he views inflation as transitory, he did cite the ongoing moderation in commodity prices and the view that past history would indicate that inflation is likely to be transitory.”