S&P, Nasdaq rally to records as investors eye Fed’s Jackson Hole event

WTI crude oil snaps 7-day losing streak rising to the $65 per barrel level

U.S. stock indexes battled to record highs Monday as investors looked ahead to a key Federal Reserve event that could lay out the framework for the central bank to begin tapering its asset purchases. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 215 points, or 0.61%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.85% and 1.55%, respectively. The rally has both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq trading at all-time highs. 

Both the Dow and the S&P 500 last week posted their biggest weekly declines in two months after minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting out last week showed the central bank could begin scaling back its asset purchase program before the end of the year. 4

The Fed’s Jackson Hole Symposium will take place virtually Thursday and Friday and could provide clues as to when the Fed could end the emergency measures put in place during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and begin raising interest rates. 

In stocks, energy-linked names, including Chevron Corp, Kinder Morgan Inc. and Haliburton Co., outperformed as West Texas Intermediate crude oil jumped $3.50 to $65.62 a barrel. The gain, which was the largest in five months, snapped WTI’s seven-day losing streak. 

Uber Inc., Lyft Inc. and DoorDash Inc. were in focus after a California judge ruled that Proposition 22, a voter-approved measure that classified drivers as independent contractors, was unconstitutional. 

PayPal Inc. announced customers in the U.K. will be allowed to buy, sell and hold the cryptocurrencies bitcoin, ether, litecoin, and bitcoin cash beginning this week. Separately, bitcoin rose to the $50,000 level, a three-month high. 

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE has become the first to receive Food and Drug Administration approval. 

Separately, Pfizer said it would buy the remaining shares of Trillium Therapeutics Inc. that it does not already own for $18.50 apiece, a 204% premium to Friday’s closing price. The agreement values the cancer drugmaker at $2.26 billion. 

In earnings, Chinese e-commerce company JD.com reported earnings and revenue that exceeded Wall Street estimates as the number of active customer accounts climbed by 27.4%.  

Overseas markets rallied across the board. 

France’s CAC 40 paced the advance in Europe, trading up 0.86%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX 30 advanced 0.3% and 0.28%, respectively. 

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.78%, China’s Shanghai Composite added 1.45% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 1.05%.