U.S. stocks advanced on Wednesday, erasing early session losses as investors awaited the next market catalyst amid light trading volume. The Dow jumped 258 points, while the S&P 500 added 0.7%. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.4%. The U.S. and China trade dispute also remained in focus as the latest round of tariffs is expected to be implemented by each side on September 1.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory with the Utilities group as the lone decliner. Energy stocks paced the gains with WTI crude jumping 1.8% to $55.94/barrel after a government report showed U.S. stockpiles fell 10 million barrels last week. Consumer Discretionary shares also outperformed, with Tiffany & Co climbing 3.0% after the fine jewelry retailer easily beat analysts’ earnings expectations, but revenue and same-store sales came up short. In other earnings, Hewlett Packard Enterprises gained 3.3% after the computer hardware company beat profit expectations and raised full-year earnings guidance. Autodesk slid 6.7% after reducing 2020 earnings and sales outlook.
The lone economic data update showed mortgage applications dropped 6.2% last week after dipping 0.9% in the prior period. Treasuries modestly strengthened, as the yield curve inversion persisted. The yield on the 10-year note was little changed at 1.47%, while the yield on the two-year note fell two basis points to 1.50%. The yield on the 30-year bond dipped one basis point to 1.94%, near its all-time low of 1.90% reached earlier and below the three-month bill yield of 1.98%. In commodities, COMEX gold lost 0.2% to $1,537.80/ounce.