Big Tech Helps Stocks Start August Strong

All three indexes finished the first trading day of August higher, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite hitting a new intraday record high on the back of outsized gains from Microsoft (MSFT). The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average also ended the day in the black, as stocks got a boost from positive manufacturing data as well as an upbeat earnings season. Nevertheless, investors are still carefully watching negotiations over a new coronavirus relief package unfold in Washington D.C., as Republicans and Democrats stage a fierce debate over the expired federal boost to unemployment assistance.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

    • A bull signal flashed for athleisure giant Lululemon today. 
    • This semiconductor stock is one of 20 stocks with a high weekly options volume.
    • Plus, this Tesla competitor is increasing production capacity; Microsoft makes moves to buy video-sharing app; popular food stock appoints a new CEO. 

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 26,664.40) gained 236.1 points, or 0.9% for the day. MSFT led the 20 gainers with a 5.6% pop, while Dow Inc (DOW) paced the 10 laggards with a 2.4% fall.

    Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,294.61) added 23.5 points, or 0.7% for the day. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 10,902.80) rose 157.52 points, or 1.5% for today's session.

    Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 24.28) lost 0.2 point, or 0.7%, for the day.

    Closing Summary August 3

    nyse nas aug 3

    1. American manufacturers expanded for the third month in a row, although production levels remain low and not all jobs will be coming back soon. (MarketWatch)
    2. Negotiations regarding a new coronavirus relief bill continued in Congress, after the $600 per week federal unemployment benefit expired in July. (CNBC)
    3. Unpacking Microsoft stock's move to buy video-sharing app TikTok.
    4. This Chinese electric car stock is revving up competition with Tesla.
    5. A popular food stock moved higher after appointing a new CEO.

    Earnings August 3

    Unusual options August 3

    Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

    Gold, Oil Inch Higher to Start New Month

    Oil futures ended higher, boosted by the encouraging manufacturing data. September-dated crude rose 74 cents, or 1.8%, to end at $41.01 a barrel.

    Gold futures posted a marginal gain today to start off August, nabbing an intraday record high along the way. A rising dollar kept the safe-haven asset's advance in check. Gold for December, now the most-active contract, rose 40 cents to settle at $1,986.30 an ounce.

    The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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