By Mark DeCambre, MarketWatch
U.S. stocks concluded a bumpy trading session on a high note Tuesday, with another record for the Nasdaq Composite, even as technology-related names took a backseat to outperformance in beaten-down sectors energy, real estate and consumer staples.
Investors parsed a trove of quarterly results from U.S. corporations and awaited a resolution to a stalemate between congressional Democrats and Republicans on a fresh fiscal relief package for Americans that have been put out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How did equity benchmarks perform?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.38% picked up 164.07 points, or 0.6%, at 26,828.47, lifted by gains in McDonald’s Corp . /zigman2/quotes/203508018/composite MCD -0.39% and UnitedHealth Group Inc . /zigman2/quotes/210453738/composite UNH +0.25% and capped by a loss in shares of Microsoft Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT +1.78% .
The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.81% rose 11.90 points, or 0.4%, to 3,306.51, near its intraday peak, which put it above a psychological round-number level above 3,300. The Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +1.53% finished 38.37 points, or 0.4%, to close at 10,941.17, also near its highs of the session. The Nasdaq notched its 30th record close of 2020, putting the benchmark one record away from exceeding its record close tally for all of 2019 and placing it ahead of the 29 records for 2018, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
The Nasdaq Composite has risen for five consecutive sessions while the S&P 500 and the Dow have gained for three straight trading days.
On Monday, the Dow climbed 236.08 points, or 0.9%, to close at 26,664.40. The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.81% rose 23.49 points, or 0.7%, to 3,294.61. The Nasdaq Composite gained 157.52 points, or 1.5%, to close at 10,902.80.
What drove the market?
Market participants appear to be betting on progress toward a fresh coronavirus aid package for out-of-work Americans but none was forthcoming on Tuesday. Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that a deal seemed far off.
“We’re a long ways away from striking any kind of a deal,” said Meadows , coming out of a Senate Republican lunch on Tuesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were scheduled to meet with the Trump administration at 3:30 p.m. Eastern, but expectations for a deal this week seemed to be fading.
Still, markets took the lack of progress in strike, betting on under-loved sectors which may benefit from further fiscal support after investors piled into technology and e-commerce stocks that have been viewed as more resilient to the economic environment that the COVID-19 pandemic has created.
Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management, said that he believed that the investors were taking Tuesday as an opportune to diversify their holdings. “So, the rest of the market is playing a little bit of catch up today and value is doing well over growth,” he noted.
One measure of value, or stocks that are trading at a discount by some metric, the iShares S&P 500 Value ETF /zigman2/quotes/206097129/composite IVE +0.34% , gained 0.5%, while growth names, represented by the iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF /zigman2/quotes/208542267/composite IVW +1.24% , gained a more subdued 0.2% on the day. That said, the growth sector’s weekly gain stands at 1.2% compared with a 0.8% gain thus far this week for value.
Equity gains came as haven assets were headed toward historic highs, reflecting uncertainty about the sustainability of the stock market rally that has been primarily driven by a handful of names and doubts about the economy to bounce back sharply from the shock from the coronavirus pandemic.
The 10-year Treasury note yield /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y +0.56% closed at 0.514%, near its all-time closing low, according to Dow Jones Market Data, while gold prices /zigman2/quotes/210034565/delayed GC00 +0.0054% soared 1.7% to notch their first finish above $2,000 in history.