Stocks rose slightly on Tuesday, the first day of trading of the month, as the market tried to build on its best August performance since the 1980s.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 40 points, or 0.1%, to offset a loss of more than 100 points from the start of the session. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite rose nearly 1%.
Apple led tech gains, rising 1.8%. That gain came a day after the stock rose more than 3% after a stock split that apparently resulted in investors snapping up the shares. Tesla fell 0.6% after a regulatory filing found the company would sell up to $ 5 billion of its own shares.
Zoom Video's shares rose more than 37% after another quarter of blowout was reported. The video conferencing company's sales more than quadrupled in the second quarter of the fiscal year compared to the previous year.
The key averages were also boosted on Tuesday by better-than-expected manufacturing data. The final August manufacturing PMI came in at 56, a 19-month high as new orders hit their highest level since 2004.
The S&P 500 and Dow have just finished their best August in more than 30 years. The blue chip average rose 7.6% for the fifth straight year in August and the largest increase since August in August. The S&P 500 also rose 7% for the fifth straight month, hitting its best August since 1986.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 9.6% in August, the best monthly performance since 2000.
"While growth and momentum names continue to be the main drivers of returns, value and cycles have started to get involved," said Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide, in a note Monday.
Walmart shares rose 1% in premarket trading after announcing their Walmart + membership program to compete with Amazon Prime.
Along with technology, inventory re-opening – cruise lines, airlines, and hotels – had a big August. Royal Caribbean and MGM Resorts both gained about 40%, while FedEx and Gap both gained 30%. Delta Air Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line were also among the top S&P 500 companies in August. Many of these stocks were down slightly on the Tuesday before trading.
The composition of the Dow changed on Monday when Apple's 4-for-1 stock split took effect. Salesforce, Amgen and Honeywell replaced the long-standing components Exxon Mobil, Pfizer and Raytheon Technologies.
Investors are waiting for a major monthly job report on Friday that shows the workforce continued to rebound in August. Economists polled by Dow Jones predict that 1.255 million jobs were created in August.
"When it comes to US jobs, it's important to remember that the Fed's new inflation target policy may have an impact on how the market receives this news," Kristina Hooper, Invesco's chief strategist for global markets, said in a note.
"Ordinarily, a good employment report would raise concerns that the Fed might step up to proactively combat inflation and economic overheating. These concerns have fallen by the wayside, at least for now, with the Fed's new policy," said Hooper.
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