Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite close at record high

Posted at 6:32 AM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 13:27:34-04

What a day for stocks. The Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all finished at a record high on Wednesday.

For the S&P 500, it was the third straight record day, surpassing both Monday and Tuesday’s highs. It finished 0.8% higher at 2,996 points.

The Dow closed 0.7%, or 179 points, higher, at 26,966 points. It marks the Dow’s first record since October.

The Nasdaq Composite closed up 0.8%, at 8,170 points. It was its first record since May 3.

The stock market closed at 1 pm ET on Wednesday ahead of the Independence Day holiday on Thursday. Markets will be closed on July 4.

Stock climbed at the start of the week following President Donald Trump’s meeting with China’s Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan, where the leaders agreed to a tariff ceasefire and to resume trade talks.

A global shift towards looser monetary policy is also helping stocks, as lower interest rates make it cheaper for companies to incur debt.

“We’ve seen continued doubt and worry over this bull market for a decade now, yet it continues to defy all skeptics. The bottom line is the dual benefit of both fiscal and monetary policy should help extend this business cycle potentially much longer than many expect,” said Ryan Detrick, Senior Market Strategist for LPL Financial, in emailed comments.

Easy money on the horizon

Trump nominated Christopher Waller and Judy Shelton to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System late Tuesday. Waller is the executive vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Shelton serves as the US executive director of the European Bank of Reconstruction & Development, and has advocated returning to the gold standard.

“President Trump has also selected two Fed nominees that completely agree with his stance that lower interest rates are needed,” wrote Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.

The president has long been critical of the Fed and its Chairman Jerome Powell, saying that lower interest rates would help boost the economy. Powell was also nominated by Trump.

Waller and Shelton’s nomination follows two other Trump picks for the Fed, both of which withdrew from consideration.

In Europe, Christine Lagarde — current head of the International Monetary Fund — has been tapped to lead the European Central Bank when current President Mario Draghi’s term ends later this year.

“She is considered an uber-dove, so it is very hard to imagine when interest rate hikes will be delivered by the ECB,” Moya said.

With loser monetary policy on the horizon in both Europe and the United States, government bond yields — which are in part driven by future interest rate expectations — are lower on Wednesday.

The 10-year US Treasury bond hit its lowest level since November 2016, according to Refinitiv, last yielding 1.9549%.