A broad and robust rally of relief that saw all but one end in the green gave investors some breathing space on Wednesday.
The rising spirits were a pair of economic data points. First: This month’s reading of the Empire State Manufacturing Index, which measures general business conditions in New York City, nearly doubled to 34.3 from 18.3 in August, shattering expectations.
Michael Reinking, senior market strategist for the New York Stock Exchange, notes that while the index is generally not closely watched, being the “first piece of September economic data that the market had to digest” might have deserved a particular attention.
Also on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released August industrial production figures that match the estimates, up 0.4% month-over-month.
Energy stocks (+ 3.7%), including EOG Resources (EOG, + 8.3%) and Devon Energy (DVN, + 7.3%), were by far the best performers in the sector. They were helped by a 3.1% rise in US crude oil prices, to $ 72.61 a barrel, as US inventories tightened.
The major indices all finished with similar returns: Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.7% to 34,814, the S&P 500 improved from 0.9% to 4,480, and the Nasdaq Composite broke his five-session slippage with a gain of 0.8% to 15,161.
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Other stock market news today:
- Small cap Russel 2000 jumped 1.1% to 2,234.
- It was a second day of steep losses for casino stocks after the Macau government launched a 45-day review of casino operations in Chinese territory. The process is being conducted as a way to get public input on changing gambling laws, with speculation swirling that it could lead to stricter regulations for casino operators. Among today’s notable declines were Wynn Resorts (WYNN, -6.3%), MGM Resorts International (MGM, -2.5%) and Sands of Las Vegas (LVS, -1.7%).
- SoFi Technologies (SOFI, + 6.6%) received a boost today after Mizuho Americas analysts Dan Dolev and Ryan Coyne kicked off coverage of the fintech stock with a buy. “SoFi is a one-stop digital financial services company that is in the midst of a powerful transition to a full-fledged mobile super-app neo-bank with next-generation in-house issuance capabilities,” they wrote. in a note to customers. SoFi went public at the beginning of June through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
- Gold Futures fell 0.7% to close at $ 1,794.80 an ounce.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) fell 6.4% to 18.21.
- Bitcoin had another good day, advancing 3.5% to $ 48,099.15. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; the prices listed here are at 4 p.m. each trading day.)
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