Nasdaq, S&P 500 surge to record highs on tech gains and Fed rate cut hints

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 both hit record highs Wednesday, boosted by gains for Nvidia and other Wall Street heavyweights ahead of key inflation data and quarterly earnings reports due this week. It was the Nasdaq’s seventh straight close at a record high and the S&P 500’s sixth straight close.

The S&P 500 index topped 5,600 for the first time after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hinted at a potential rate cut in September during testimony before Congress. Powell noted that he was not yet convinced that inflation was on track to falling to 2%, but expressed “some confidence” in achieving that goal.

Philadelphia’s semiconductor index rose 2.4% to a record after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. reported strong quarterly revenue. Nvidia rose 2.7%, Micron Technology rose 4% and Advanced Micro Devices rose 3.9%, reflecting strong performance across the technology sector.

Apple also hit a record high, lifting its market value to $3.6 trillion. Despite concerns from some investors about a potential sell-off if big tech earnings disappoint, the S&P 500 rose 1.02% to 5,633.91 points, while the Nasdaq gained 1.18% to 18,647.45 points.

All 11 S&P 500 sector indexes rose, with information technology leading the way, rising 1.63%. Total trading volume was relatively light, with 10 billion shares traded compared with an average of 11.5 billion over the past 20 sessions. U.S. inflation data due this week includes the consumer price index on Thursday and the producer price index on Friday.

(Disclaimer: Based on information obtained from the agency.)