Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today: S&P, Nasdaq Score New Highs After Fed Minutes

While the Fed has started positioning for the eventual tapering of asset purchases and raising of interest rates, there is no concrete timeline as of yet.

It was a choppy day of trading as investors waited on this afternoon's release of the minutes from the Fed's June meeting.

The minutes showed voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) generally agreed that it was time to position for the eventual easing of the central bank's supportive monetary policy, "in response to unexpected economic developments ... or the emergence of risks," such as rising inflation.

"Monetary policy recalibration is now on the table, as the FOMC becomes genuinely more data dependent and less calendar dependent," says Bob Miller, BlackRock's head of Americas Fundamental Fixed Income.

"The minutes today reflected a Committee that has started to shift its emphasis from realized economic outcomes to a more outlook-dependent reaction function. The upside/downside surprises for relevant economic indicators should now lead financial markets to adjust the distribution of outcomes with respect to tapering asset purchases and eventual lift-off from zero interest rates."

Sign up for Kiplinger's FREE Investing Weekly e-letter for stock, ETF and mutual fund recommendations, and other investing advice.

Without a concrete timeline for take-off in today's minutes, though, the major market indexes all pushed higher into the close. The S&P 500 Index gained 0.3% to 4,358 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.01% to 14,665 – fresh record highs for both – while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.3% to 34,681.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 fell 1% to 2,252.
  • While the major indexes have been setting records left and right for months, Apple (AAPL) hasn't managed to hit a new high since January – until today. The mega-cap hasn’t made much in the way of headlines of late, but a steady drumbeat of positive analyst notes has lifted the stock some 14.8% over the past month. Its 1.8% gain Wednesday put it at $144.57, eclipsing its previous closing high of $143.16 set on Jan. 26.
  • Newegg (NEGG), an internet electronics retailer that went public in May in a reverse merger, rocketed 148.4% after it announced a new build-to-order PC business. Customers who design their own computers on the Newegg PC Builder can now have them professionally assembled "significantly faster than other competitive BTO offerings," Newegg says. NEGG shares are now up 548% in the past month, and 1,528% for the year to date.
  • U.S. crude oil futures dropped 1.6% to settle at $72.20 per barrel.
  • Gold futures added 0.4% to finish at $1,802.10 an ounce.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) fell 1.5% to 16.20.
  • Bitcoin prices rose 1.9% to $34,608.50. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.
stock price chart 070721

YCharts

Tracking That 10-Year Treasury Yield

Another notable move today was in the 10-year Treasury yield, which fell 5 basis points (one basis point is equal to one-one hundredth of a percentage point) to 1.32%.

This is the T-note's lowest yield since February, and puts it close to oversold territory, says Dan Wantrobski, technical strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.

"Current trends in yields are important to track in this environment," he says. That's because in addition to giving clues about how investors are feeling on a macro basis, "yields have been very influential on stock market internals – where we recently saw reflationary themes lead the broad indices higher as rates rallied (value, small-caps, financials, cyclicals), and low-growth/low-rate themes take on leadership as yields declined (large-caps; tech; discretionary). Going forward, we believe trends in the [10-year Treasury yield] will continue to affect U.S. sector leadership one way or another."

For those who want to play the hot hand of declining interest rates, consider some of these themes that Wantrobski laid out: you can get tech exposure via these sizzling semiconductor stocks, or large-cap exposure via these blue chips that are a favorite among the hedge fund crowd.

But for those that want to position for a bounce in rates, here's a list of small-cap stocks analysts are bullish on. Or, consider these seven master limited partnerships (MLPs) that are benefiting from a rebounding energy market. These MLPs allow you to leverage increased demand for oil, gas and energy products, but with an added bonus: significantly higher yield on average than more traditional energy stocks.

Karee Venema was long AAPL as of this writing. 

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
12 Best Monthly Dividend Stocks and Funds to Buy
Kiplinger's Investing Outlook

12 Best Monthly Dividend Stocks and Funds to Buy

Your bills come monthly. Why not your dividend checks? These are some of 2022's best monthly dividend stocks and funds for easier income planning.
November 22, 2021
The Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio: All 41 Warren Buffett Stocks Ranked
stocks

The Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio: All 41 Warren Buffett Stocks Ranked

The Berkshire Hathaway portfolio is a diverse set of blue chips, and increasingly, lesser-known growth bets. Here's a look at every stock picked by Wa…
November 16, 2021

Recommended

Stock Market Today (11/29/21): Tech Stocks Lead in Broad-Market Bounce
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today (11/29/21): Tech Stocks Lead in Broad-Market Bounce

Tesla and Microsoft were two notable gainers, while semiconductor stocks also made a big move higher.
November 29, 2021
Stock Market Today (11/26/21): New COVID Strain Sinks Stocks in Short Session
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today (11/26/21): New COVID Strain Sinks Stocks in Short Session

The WHO assigned the new strain the Greek letter "Omicron" and designated it a "variant of concern."
November 26, 2021
New "Omicron" COVID Variant Rattles Stock Markets
stocks

New "Omicron" COVID Variant Rattles Stock Markets

A new strain of COVID - B.1.1.529, which has been given the "omicron" label - hit stocks and other risk assets on the chin Friday.
November 26, 2021
Kiplinger's Weekly Earnings Calendar
stocks

Kiplinger's Weekly Earnings Calendar

Check out our earnings calendar for the upcoming week, as well as our previews of the more noteworthy reports.
November 26, 2021