The major market indexes ran higher right from the start on Wednesday – and never looked back.
Helping boost investor sentiment were a pair of economic reports that indicated the U.S. economy is still growing. Data from the Institute for Supply Management this morning showed business activity in the services sector hit a three-month high of 56.7% in July.
"The ISM services index not only defied the consensus expectation for a decline, but rose by the most in five months in July," says Wells Fargo senior economist Tim Quinlan. "A jump in new orders bodes well for coming demand, and an array of measures suggests supply chain pressures continue to ease."
A separate report showed factory orders were up 2% month-over-month in June, more than economists were expecting.
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A heavy dose of well-received corporate earnings reports added to the bullish buzz. Among the day's big post-earnings winners were drugmaker Moderna (MRNA, +16.0%) and fintechs PayPal Holdings (PYPL, +9.3%) and SoFi Technologies (SOFI, +28.4%).
Technology was the best-performing sector today, surging 2.7%. As such, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite outpaced its peers, rising 2.6% to 12,668. Still, the S&P 500 Index (+1.6% at 4,155) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.3% at 32,812) posted solid gains. It was the first win this week for all three indexes.
Other news in the stock market today:
Long live the 60-40 portfolio! So says Douglas Beath, global investment strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute.
Many pundits have declared the traditional portfolio structure – which dictates you allocate 60% to stocks and 40% to bonds – as obsolete following a more than 16% decline in both the S&P 500 and the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index in the first half of 2022.
But Beath says that while "this year in capital markets is unusual," such calls are "greatly exaggerated," and in fact the 60-40 portfolio "will continue to be an effective strategy for investors." The strategist points to historical returns of bonds, which have provided a "significant hedge" during periods of market volatility, as well as attractive valuations following the recent downturn. And this is why the model is alive and well and continues "to serve as a solid foundation for long-term investors."
While investing in individual bonds is impractical for most retail investors, bond funds and bond ETFs allow them to gain exposure to fixed-income assets. Here, we've compiled a list of the 10 bond funds to buy now that cover a wide variety of categories and create diversification for income investors.
Karee Venema was long HOOD as of this writing.
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