Stock market news live updates: Dow rallies to reach record high as tech stocks recover losses

Emily McCormick
·Reporter
·7 min read

 

Stocks rose on Wednesday, with each of the three major indexes climbing as tech shares shook off some recent losses.

[Click here to read what's moving markets heading into Thursday, Feb. 25]

The Dow added about 1.4%, or 425 points, led by a jump in shares of Boeing. The S&P 500 gained 1.1%, while the Nasdaq gained just under 1%.

A rotation into cyclical and value stocks and away from some of the high growth names that led markets higher last year has picked up steam over the past week. The energy, financials, materials and industrial sectors have outperformed strongly over the last five trading days, while the information technology and consumer discretionary sectors lagged.

"This month has actually [been] the largest outperformance of value versus growth in the last 20 years,” Sam Hendel, Levin Easterly Partners, told Yahoo Finance. “We’re sort of seeing a really nice sweet spot for value stocks that we think have been left behind … Growth’s had this huge run, and rates are so low that there aren’t that many places to find yield. So we still think value has a lot of legs."

At the same time, concerns over inflation and rising Treasury yields have also weighed on stocks across the board this week, with higher prices and increased borrowing costs for companies seen as an emerging threat. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield briefly rose above 1.4% Wednesday morning, continuing its march higher.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, however, tried to assuage market participants' fears during his semiannual monetary policy testimony before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday, saying that Treasury yields' march higher was "a statement of confidence on the part of markets that we’ll have a robust and ultimately complete recovery" and reaffirming that he believed any inflation in the coming months will prove transitory.

"I think there was a bit of a scare in markets last week because we were starting to see more of the move coming in real yields, and if that were to go too far then I think it could potentially cause some issues for risk assets," UBS economist Seth Carpenter told Yahoo Finance. "And I think the real concern is that if it goes so far that it starts to impair the recovery, then it becomes a problem. So far I think we’re in good shape, but it’s something absolutely to watch.”

4:03 p.m. ET: Dow adds 425 points, or 1.4%, to reach a record high as tech shares rebound

Here were the main moves in markets as of 4:03 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +44.03 (+1.13%) to 3,925.40

  • Dow (^DJI): +424.78 (+1.35%) to 31,962.13

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +132.77 (+0.99%) to 13,597.97

  • Crude (CL=F): +$1.56 (+2.53%) to $63.23 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$5.50 (-0.30%) to $1,800.40 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +2.7 bps to yield 1.3890%

11:08 a.m. ET: S&P 500, Dow turn positive while Nasdaq holds lower

Here's where markets were trading Wednesday mid-morning:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +12.12 (+0.31%) to 3,893.49

  • Dow (^DJI): +174.95 (+0.55%) to 31,712.30

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -15.14 (-0.11%) to 13,450.06

  • Crude (CL=F): +$1.44 (+2.34%) to $63.11 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$14.00 (-0.78%) to $1,791.90 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +3 bps to yield 1.39%

10:05 a.m. ET: New home sales rise more than expected in January as housing market surge extends further

U.S. new home sales jumped by 4.3% in January over December, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday morning, far exceeding expectations as a jump in housing market activity last year extended into the beginning of the new year. December's month-over-month increase was also sharply upwardly revised to 5.5%, from the 1.6% rise previously reported.

The January jump brought new home sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 923,000, the highest level since October. The increase was led by a 12.6% jump in sales in the Midwest, followed by a wide margin by a 6.8% rise in sales in the West. Only the Northeast saw a drop of new home sales during the month, posting a decline of 13.9%.

9:31 a.m. ET: Stocks open lower

Here's where markets were trading after the opening bell:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -7.58 (-0.2%) to 3,875.68

  • Dow (^DJI): -17.17 (-0.05%) to 31,520.18

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -70.19 (-0.52%) to 13,404.60

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.79 (+1.28%) to $62.46 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$17.00 (-0.94%) to $1,788.90 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +6.6 bps to yield 1.43%

9:02 a.m. ET: FDA staff deem Johnson & Johnson's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine safe and effective, paving the way for formal authorization

U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff said in new documents released Wednesday that Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) single-shot COVID-19 vaccine appeared safe and effective in trials, reaffirming data the company announced late last month. The drugmaker had said at the time that its vaccine was 66% effective in protecting against COVID-19 and a number of variants, based on a study involving nearly 44,000 people globally. In the U.S., efficacy against COVID-19 was found to be 72%.

The new documents provide encouraging signs that a third COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. may soon be approved. The FDA's advisory panel is set to meet February 26, soon after which a definitive authorization could be granted to the vaccine.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson, a Dow component, rose 1.2% in early trading following the news.

7:29 a.m. ET: Lowe's shares jump 2% in early trading after 4Q results top estimates amid still-strong home improvement demand

Shares of Lowe's (LOW) rose more than 2% Wednesday morning after posting fourth-quarter results that handily exceeding expectations, posting more than $20 billion in quarterly revenue as consumer flocked to the retailer for home improvement projects while sheltering in place.

Adjusted earnings of $1.33 per share on net sales of $20.31 billion were easily above estimates for $1.21 per share on sales of $19.41 billion. Comparable same-store sales, a closely watched metric for retailers, rocketed higher by 28.6%, accelerating sharply over last year's 2.6% growth rate. Lowe's outpaced larger rival Home Depot on U.S. comparable sales growth, with Home Depot's comps rising 25% during the fourth quarter.

Lowe's also declined to offer specific guidance for this year, but said it saw "continued sales momentum" in February.

7:17 a.m. ET Wednesday: Stocks point to a slightly higher open

Here's where markets were trading Wednesday morning before the opening bell:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +6.25 (+0.16%) to 3,884.25

  • Dow (^DJI): +34.00 (+0.11%) to 31,526.00

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +13 (+0.1%) to 13,205.00

  • Crude (CL=F): +$1.09 (+0.67%) to $62.34 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$2.30 (+0.13%) to $1,808.20 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +0.3 bps to yield 1.367%

6:01 p.m. ET Tuesday: Stocks open flat after choppy session

Here's where markets were trading as the overnight session began:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,878.50, up 0.5 points or 0.01%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 31,497.00, up 5 points or 0.02%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,183.75, down 8.25 points or 0.06%

Morning commuters walk past the New York Stock Exchange October 28, 2008. U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as investors followed Asian and European markets higher, buying shares beaten down in recent sessions and putting aside concerns about a plunge in consumer confidence.     REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES)
Morning commuters walk past the New York Stock Exchange October 28, 2008. U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as investors followed Asian and European markets higher, buying shares beaten down in recent sessions and putting aside concerns about a plunge in consumer confidence. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES)

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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