The Nasdaq stole the show from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who didn't have many surprises for investors on Wednesday.
The central bank voted to keep the benchmark Fed funds rate near zero, and the "dot plot" illustrating the Federal Open Market Committee's expectations for interest rates showed they largely believe those rates will stick through at least 2022. The Fed also said it expects U.S. GDP to recede by 6.5% this year before rebounding 5% in 2021 and 3.5% in 2022.
The day's real story was the Nasdaq, which seemed to resume its market leadership once more.
While Microsoft (MSFT, +3.7%) and Apple (AAPL, +2.6%) weren't able to lift the rest of the Dow, which declined 1.0% to 26,989, nor the S&P 500, which declined 0.5% to 3,190. They did, however, lead the tech-heavy Nasdaq to yet another new high, up 0.7% to 10,020.
Investors, after a short period of bidding them up, turned on economically sensitive sectors and value laggards. Recent speculative winners plunged for a second straight day, too. Hertz (HTZ, -39.7%) dropped hard after the car rental company revealed it had received a delisting notice from the New York Stock Exchange. Chesapeake Energy (CHK, -29.2%), which had traded above $68 per share earlier this week, closed Wednesday at $16.81.
Now, the market appears to be migrating back to large-cap growth and tech once again.
Fortunately, there's no shortage of high-quality ways to leverage those areas. The Nasdaq's best stocks include a wide variety of firms at the cutting edge of innovation: biotechnology, cybersecurity and cloud technology among them. Scores of e-commerce stocks have upside to spare given just how much retail market share there is to conquer ... though, if you want to make life easier on yourself, you can bundle most of those stocks together in one "themed" fund.
There's also artificial intelligence (AI): a technology that usually conjures up images of robots and driverless cars. But as these 11 stocks demonstrate, AI is already touching our lives in far more practical ways, and have the potential to become so, so much more.
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