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Wednesday’s Market Snapshot: Here Is What You Need To Know Right Now

support@smarteranalyst.com (Ben Mahaney)

The S&P 500 Index rose 0.8% set to extend a gaining streak together with the Nasdaq Composite Index, which climbed 1.5% in early afternoon trading as investors flocked into blue-chip stocks who are doing well during the coronavirus pandemic.

Facebook is up over 5%, Microsoft edged about 2% higher, and Netflix jumped 11%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2%.

Salesforce is leading gains on the S&P 500, surging 26% after the cloud-computing company reported better-than-expected 2Q results and lifted its profit outlook for fiscal 2021. The on-demand software provider is benefiting from the rapid adoption of cloud-based solutions and ongoing digital transformations during the pandemic. What’s more the stock is poised to enter the Dow Index next week.

On the tech front, Hewlett Packard Enterprises leaped over 4% as its full-year earnings forecast exceeded the Street consensus on the back of increased demand for secure work-from-home cloud solutions and connected devices.

In more positive news fueling the markets, Moderna popped more than 6% after releasing early data from its COVID-19 vaccine candidate which demonstrated that it is well-tolerated and induced immune responses in older adults that were comparable to younger adults.

In other US economic data news pushing the market momentum, figures for US orders for durable goods showed an improvement of 11.2% in July supported by a 22% increase in automobile orders. Economists had expected a 4.8% advance following a 7.6% rise in June.

Meanwhile, in retail-related news, Nordstrom tumbled almost 6% after posting a larger second-quarter loss than expected amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, which kept its stores shut for half of the reported quarter. Guggenheim analyst Robert Drbul sticks to a Hold rating on the stock, saying that shares are “fairly valued at today’s levels”. (See Nordstrom stock analysis on TipRanks).

The consumer shift to online shopping means also good news for eBay,which teamed up with Australia’s Zip. The buy-now-pay-later company will use the e-commerce platform as a marketplace to offer small and medium-sized businesses access to flexible credit lines.

In more consolidation news around health companies, Hologic snapped up Acessa Health, a privately-held innovator in minimally invasive treatment for fibroids, for about $80 million in cash plus payments based on future revenue growth. BTIG analyst Ryan Zimmerman is bullish on the stock driven by longer-term demand for Hologic’s COVID-19 tests, which have received emergency approval in the US.

For the rest of the day, investor eyes will also be focused on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at the annual Jackson Hole gathering of central banks on Thursday morning before markets open. Powell is expected present changes to the Fed’s policy framework that would allow a softer stance on inflation. Investors will also be looking out for any hints on fiscal stimulus.

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