Wall Street rallied sharply on Wednesday, with the benchmark S&P 500 index scoring its largest one-day percentage gain in about two months, as financial and technology stocks led a broad market rebound. The Nasdaq posted its best session since Nov. 7, the day before the election.
The S&P 500 had suffered its largest one-day drop in about six weeks on Tuesday after a healthcare bill was delayed in the Senate.
The healthcare legislation is the first major plank of President Trump’s domestic policy agenda, with investors eager for him to move onto his other plans including tax cuts, infrastructure spending and deregulation.
The financial sector was the best performing S&P sector, rising 1.6 percent.
Bank stocks including JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America helped t the S&P 500, with both company’s shares rising more than 2.0 percent. The interest rate-sensitive group was helped by an increase in yields for 10-year Treasuries and by a widening spread between shorter- and longer-dated Treasury bonds.
Bank stocks also were higher ahead of stress test results from the Federal Reserve and added to those gains in after-hours trading as the Fed approved plans from the 34 largest U.S. banks to use extra capital for stock buybacks, dividends and other purposes.
The tech stock sector gained 1.3 percent, as it recovered from its worst day in more than two weeks. The sector has led the S&P 500’s 9-percent gain this year, but has pulled back recently as some investors question whether the group is too expensive.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq bounced off its 50-day moving average.
With second-quarter corporate earnings reporting set to begin in earnest in July, investors are looking for results to support equity valuations. The S&P 500 is trading at nearly 18 times forward earnings estimates, above its long-term average of 15 times.
In earnings news, General Mills rose 1.6 percent after the Cheerios cereal maker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.
Staples rose 8.4 percent. The company will announce its sale to private equity firm Sycamore Partners, a person familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.
Approximately 6.7 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, a number that was below the 7.2 billion share daily average over the last 20 sessions.
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