Stock Market Today: Stocks Rise as Treasury Yields Retreat

A slow start turned into a fine finish for stocks as the bond market stabilized.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

It was a slow start for stocks Thursday as the possibility of a government shutdown kept investors on tenterhooks. However, the main benchmarks turned higher mid-morning as Treasury yields eased, and continued climbing into the close.   

While concern that the U.S. government is on the brink of a shutdown initially pressured investor sentiment Thursday, a retreat in red-hot Treasury yields had markets turning higher about an hour or so after the open. Yields on the 2-year and 10-year government notes are at their highest points in nearly two decades, though today they pulled back from these notable levels.

This helped spark an outsized rally in rate-sensitive tech and communication services stocks. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) was one of the day's biggest gainers, adding 4.8% after Kevin Scott, chief technology officer at Microsoft (MSFT, +0.3%), on Wednesday said the chipmaker is making "increasingly compelling GPU [graphics process units] that I think are going to become more and more important to the marketplace in the coming years."

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Peloton sizzles on Lululemon partnership

One-time pandemic darling Peloton Interactive (PTON) was another big mover Thursday, soaring 5.4% after the exercise equipment maker disclosed a partnership with athletic apparel maker Lululemon Athletica (LULU, -0.04%). Under the terms of the deal, Peloton will serve as the exclusive digital content provider for Lululemon, while the retailer will become the sole athletic apparel partner to PTON. 

"We believe the deal is an acknowledgement of the challenges LULU has faced growing its hardware business and the company's limited ability to develop content and Peloton's need to simplify its business through more effective partnerships for athletic apparel," says UBS Global Research analyst Arpine Kocharyan.

As for the indexes, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite outperformed, adding 0.8% to 13,201. The broader S&P 500 (+0.6% at 4,299) and the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.4% at 33,666) finished with comfortable gains.

Powell, PCE data on deck

Also in focus today was the latest round of economic data, which included the final reading on second-quarter gross (GDP), which was unchanged at 2.1%. Still, data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows consumer spending in the April through June period grew at a slower pace than previously reported. 

"It turns out that the consumer might not have been as strong as we thought after the final reading of Q2 personal consumption was revised from 1.7% to 0.8%, the weakest level in over a year," says Edward Moya, senior market strategist at currency data provider OANDA. "Fed hawkishness however is not going away as the economy is cooling but is still likely to see 4% growth in Q3."

Elsewhere, the Labor Department Thursday said initial jobless claims rose by 2,000 last week to 204,000, less than economists were expecting. "The U.S. labor market remains tight as companies remain hesitant to lay off workers," Moya says. The strategist adds that if there is a government shutdown, this could be the last jobless claims data we see in a while. 

Looking ahead, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is slated to speak after today's close. Additionally, the August personal consumption and expenditures (PCE) index, the Fed's preferred measure of inflation, will be released ahead of tomorrow's open. 

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Karee Venema
Contributing Editor,

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is an investing editor and options expert at She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.