Dow Closes Above 29K for First Time Since Feb. as Utilities Power Rally By

Dow Closes Above 29K for First Time Since Feb. as

© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim – The Dow rallied Wednesday to close above 29,000 for the first time in more than six months amid runaway gains in utilities as investors weighed signs of slack in the labor market.

The rose 1.59%, or 453 points to 29,099, its highest level since Feb. 20, the and rose 1.56% and 0.98% respectively to close at record highs.

Defensive corners of the market were in favor, with utilities leading to the upside thanks to a jump in Exelon (NASDAQ:) and PPL (NYSE:).

Consumer staples also participated in the rally thanks to a more than 4% rise in Coca-Cola (NYSE:) and 10% jump in whiskey maker Brown Forman (NYSE:).

Brown Forman reported first-quarter fiscal first-quarter earnings of 67 cents on revenue of $753 million, topping estimates for earnings of 39 cents a share, on revenue of $691.2 million.

Technology lagged the broader move higher as Apple (NASDAQ:) eased 2%, though still remains up about 80% for the year so far. Shares of Apple have been underpinned by growing investor optimism over its upcoming launch of the iPhone 12, which many Wall Street analysts expect will spark a wave of upgrades.

Energy, meanwhile, continued its sluggish start to the week on falling oil prices despite data showing a larger-than-expected 9.3 million barrel draw in weekly stocks.

On the economic front, investors digested data showing the U.S. economy created 428,000 private jobs last month, well short of estimates of 950,000.

“ADP’s measure has undershot the official estimate of private payrolls in recent months, but the error diminished sharply in both June and July.  Assuming a further narrowing of the gap in August, we expect Friday’s official headline print to be about 750,000,” Pantheon Macroeconomics said.

Still, the somber jobs report did little to cool expectations for a strong economic recovery at a time when consumer spending continues to gather steam.

“Consumer spending continued to pick up, sparked by strong vehicle sales and some improvements in tourism and retail sectors,” according to the Fed’s Beige Book report. “But many Districts noted a slowing pace of growth in these areas, and total spending was still far below pre-pandemic levels.”

In other news, Tesla (NASDAQ:) fell 6% after its largest outside shareholder, Baillie Gifford, cut some of its holdings in the company, citing portfolio restrictions in the wake of the massive run higher in the stock. 

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