By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The S&P 500 climbed Wednesday, to remain near fresh record high as plunging bond yields helped keep tech in the ascendency, while Fed's June meeting suggested the threshold for bond tapering remains illusive.
The S&P 500 rose 0.2% to remain close its earlier record of 4,359.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.17%, or 59 points, the Nasdaq was down 0.1% having also hit a record of 14,755.3 earlier in the day.
Federal Reserve policymakers generally agreed that the threshold to begin scaling back its monthly bond purchases had not yet been met, according to the Fed's June meeting minutes released Wednesday. But there was uncertainty on when conditions to taper will met as some members expected the threshold to be met earlier than expected, while others preferred to wait for incoming economic data.
"The Committee's standard of 'substantial further progress' was generally seen as not having yet been met, though participants expected progress to continue," the minutes showed. There were, however, various participants that expected the conditions for the taper threshold to be "met somewhat earlier than they had anticipated at previous meetings in light of incoming data."
The uncertainty of the timing of tapering drew a muted reaction in markets as U.S. bond yields remained near the lows of the day.
The move in bond markets serve as a gauge of "how investors view the macro landscape going forward," according to Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. But yields are oversold, and could be set for a bounce that, if sustained – the 10-year Treasury yield breaking above 1.50% to 1.60% range – could revive the reflation trade, giving cyclicals a lift.
If yields fail to mount a sustainable charge higher, then "then choppy-to-lower trading is likely to favor a 'low-rate / low-growth' environment for some time," Luschini added.
Against the backdrop of falling bond yields, meanwhile, growth corners of the market like tech continued to rack up gains, though social media stocks were lagging behind.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) remained below the flatline after former President Donald Trump said he is filing a class-action lawsuit against the social media giant and other tech giants including Twitter and Google as well as their chief executives because of bans imposed on him and others.
Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) recovered losses, while Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) fell nearly 2%.
Materials and industrials were also among the biggest sector gainers, while energy slipped further into the red after oil prices reversed gains
Oil prices continue to lose ground as the failure of OPEC+ to agree a new output plan, stoked concerns that members of the production-cut accord may break away from the agreement, potentially leading to uptick in global supplies.
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