The Dow and the S&P 500 closed at records Tuesday as technology shares rebounded following a two-day decline. But the market’s focus was on the Federal Reserve’s two-day monetary policy meeting and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.44% climbed 92.80 points, or 0.4%, to close at 21,328.47 after touching an all-time intraday high of 21,332.77. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.45% added 10.96 points, or 0.5%, to finish at 2,440.35, also trading in record territory, supported by materials and information technology sectors.
The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.73% rose 44.90 points, or 0.7%, to end at 6,220.37.
Technology shares fell sharply Monday extending a downturn from Friday, weighing on broader indexes, particularly the Nasdaq, which maintains a higher concentration of tech names. Despite that, major indexes have been in a pronounced uptrend of late.
The tech selloff didn’t spread to other sectors in a notable way. Instead, it was countered by a move into the energy and financial sectors, which Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, said could potentially offer better returns.
Weston doesn’t really think the 10% decline “that many had been talking about on Friday,” will come to pass, he said in a note to clients.
Fed meeting kicks off: The two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting will wrap up Wednesday with a news conference hosted by Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen. Market observers are nearly unanimous in the view that the fed-funds rate will be raised, with a nearly 100% chance of an interest-rate increase, according to the CME Group.
“We are seeing a little of a move back up mainly due to expectations from the Fed meeting,” said Chris Gaffney, president at EverBank World Markets.
With an interest-rate increase priced in, investors are comfortable with the idea that the Fed will remain cautious to ensure that tighter monetary policy doesn’t hinder growth, he said.
The Fed “has been confronted recently with softer inflation data and only scattered evidence of an expected reacceleration of activity,” David Joy, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial wrote in a note. “While few expect the Fed to refrain from acting this time, what it must say about upcoming meetings and the possible timing of the start of unwinding its balance sheet will be scrutinized.”
Meanwhile, Sessions is categorically denying any private meetings with Russians in his testimony to the Senate. The Justice Department’s probe into Russia’s efforts to interfere in 2016 election is seen as a potential headwind for the market.
Any “shocking” revelation from the testimony that could hamper President Donald Trump’s administration from introducing further policy change could send stocks back into negative, said Gaffney.
Economic data: The National Federation of Independent Business reported small-business sentiment was steady in May. Separately, the producer-price index was flat last month following a sharp 0.5% increase in April, as had been expected.
Stock movers: Shares of Facebook Inc. FB, +1.51% added 1.5%, Google parent Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, +0.90% was up 0.9%, and Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, +1.65% was up 1.7%.
Eli Lilly & Co. LLY, +0.43% rose 0.4% after the company said its pain drug with Pfizer Inc. PFE, -0.37% had received fast track designation from the Food and Drug Administration.
Cheesecake Factory Inc. CAKE, -9.86% shares slumped 9.9% after the company cut its second-quarter outlook.
Other markets: European stocks SXXP, +0.55% settled firmly higher, buoyed by a tech rebound. Asian markets ADOW, +0.19% shook off Wall Street’s Monday woes and mostly rose.
The dollar DXY, -0.04% fell against the British pound GBPUSD, -0.0941% which rose after a bigger-than-expected gain in U.K. inflation. Oil prices CLQ7, -1.01% finished higher for a third straight session, while gold futures GCQ7, +0.18% booked its fifth straight loss in a row.