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S&P 500 and Nasdaq on track for biggest monthly gains since November 2020

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Yahoo Finance Live anchors Dave Briggs and Seana Smith look at how markets are faring to end the week, with big gainers like the S&P and Nasdaq, along with stocks like Chevron and Amazon.

Video Transcript

DAVE GRIGGS: What recession? The S&P looking for its best monthly performance since 2020. What's driving the market? Plus, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said, quote, "activity in the housing sector has weakened." Will that weakening continue? And where are mortgage rates headed? Zillow's chief economist is here.

Subway has nearly 25,000 US locations. Well, now, they have a walking, talking billboard, and you're looking at him. We'll speak with the man who got a foot-long tattoo in exchange for free subs for life. But first, Seana here with a check of the markets. Ow, that looks painful.

SEANA SMITH: That looks really painful. I have a lot of questions for him at the end of the show.

DAVE GRIGGS: A lot.

SEANA SMITH: But Dave, let's kick it off with today's action and really, what we've seen this week because it certainly is a continuation. Looking at today's gains, you're seeing the Dow up just about 1%, outperformance once again from the NASDAQ, up nearly 2% today. The S&P up just about 1.4% on a weekly basis. Look at these gains, adding to what we saw earlier this week-- S&P up just about 4% for the week. That's the same as the NASDAQ and Dow, up just over 2%.

You mention that month-to-date performance, the monthly performance that we've seen for July so far, and it has really been incredible, especially with the NASDAQ and the S&P, both of those major averages with the NASDAQ up just about 11% for the month of July. It's the best performance that we've seen, Dave, like you said, since 2020. Taking a look at some of the individual movers as we look at the broad gains across the board, a lot of it has to do with some of those big tech names that we've been talking about all week, Dave. Apple, Amazon the two standouts this afternoon-- Amazon up just about 12%.

DAVE GRIGGS: Yeah, that was a bit of a surprise, considering how terrific the Apple number was yesterday in spite of all the headwinds. That seemed to be the big riser today, but Amazon surprising too because largely, the cloud sector is still strong. And again, not as bad as we thought, those two really weathering the storm. And the S&P up 8% for the month and this is the last trading day of July. It's a remarkable turnaround with all the recessionary fears and the PCE number. 6.8%, highest gain since 1982.

SEANA SMITH: I know, and it looks like investors seem to be shaking off any negative headlines here. Taking a look at the sector action, energy leading the way today, up just about 4%. Taking a look at some of those individual movers, we'll be talking about that a little bit more in just a minute. But a lot of this movement in energy has to do with the earnings that we got this morning from Exxon and Chevron. You can see Exxon just about 4%, Chevron a big winner this afternoon, up about 8% on the day, up 11% for the month. Record profits here from both of those companies.

And real quick, we just got news a few minutes ago out of the SEC, cracking down on more Chinese tech firms, or Chinese firms, in general. Alibaba the latest victim there, you can see the stock off just about 10%. The SEC adding Alibaba to its list of potential companies that they will de-list from US exchanges, all of this over its auditing practices. So some concern there, Rochelle. We're seeing that reflected in a number of these US-listed Chinese names.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And as you mentioned there, some of that scrutiny that we're seeing over its accounting practices dragging on the stock today. And this of course, comes on the heels of reports of Jack Ma planning to cede control of the financial tech giant Ant Group. So when you add all this together, a really tough time for Alibaba and a lot of these Chinese ADRs listed there as well. We'll break more of that down with some of our markets guests.