Stock Market

S&P 500 index tops 3,000 for first time — here’s how the stock market got here and what it means – MarketWatch


Five years in the making. That is the time it has taken for the S&P 500 stock index to travel from its previous thousand-point plateau to an intraday milestone of 3,000 for the first time in its history. It remains to be seen if the benchmark can close at that level, but the sojourn above that mark may hold some importance.

The stock gauge first closed at 2,000 on Aug. 26, 2014, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Although it may be just another number for some on Wall Street, for others the move for the broad-market benchmark reflects a round-number level that investors consider bullish for market sentiment.

“Momentum could continue to push markets higher in the next few days now [that] the Fed’s stance is more clear,” wrote Adrian Lowcock, head of personal investing at investment platform Willis Owen, in a Wednesday note.

The S&P 500’s

SPX, +0.45%

intraday high was 3,002.89 on Wednesday, but the index has pulled back in afternoon trade after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell kicked off his first of two days of semiannual congressional testimony that many have read as signaling a rate cut at the end of the month, which would presumably support further gains for stocks because lower rates translate to a lower cost of capital for corporations and individuals.

Check out: Here’s how the stock market’s ‘bad news is good news’ run could come to an end

The S&P 500’s milestone step-up comes as investors wrestle with equity markets that have mostly been trading near all-time highs even as signs of slowing economic growth inside and outside of the U.S. persists, raising some doubts about the durability of a domestic economic expansion in its record-setting 11th year.

Read: Powell says uncertainties ‘continue to weigh’ on U.S. economic outlook and Fed stands ready to act

Global economic headwinds, partly wrought by trade tensions between the U.S. and China, have been cited as one reason that market participants are viewing this run to monumental levels with some circumspection.

That said, it’s worth considering how the market has achieved its climb to new heights from 2,000.

Heres’ a snapshot of some of the biggest movers in the S&P 500 over the span:

Biggest gainers?
Company name % change since 2,000 milestone
Nvidia Corp.

NVDA, +1.75%

 

722%
Amzon.com Inc.

AMZN, +1.46%

 

489%
MarketAxess Holdings Inc.

MKTX, +1.90%

 

486%
Netflix, Inc.

NFLX, +0.28%

 

454%
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.

TTWO, +1.80%

 

423%
MSCI Inc. Class A

MSCI, +0.00%

 

414%
Align Technology, Inc.

ALGN, +4.08%

 

399%
Global Payments Inc.

GPN, -0.55%

 

353%
Idexx Laboratories, Inc.

IDXX, +1.07%

 

352%
Copart, Inc.

CPRT, +0.69%

 

340%
Biggest losers?
Company name % change since 2,000 milestone
National Oilwell Varco, Inc.

NOV, +2.65%

 

-74%
Apache Corp.

APA, +1.93%

 

-72%
CenturyLink, Inc.

CTL, +1.27%

 

-71%
Freeport-McMoRan, Inc.

FCX, +0.74%

 

-70%
Noble Energy, Inc.

NBL, +3.77%

 

-69%
Halliburton Co.

HAL, +0.13%

 

-66%
Macy’s Inc.

M, -0.24%

 

-66%
Perrigo Co. PLC

PRGO, -0.98%

 

-66%
Marathon Oil Corp.

MRO, +2.66%

 

-66%
Baker Hughes, a GE Company Class A

BHGE, +1.52%

 

-61%

Alongside the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.29%

and the Nasdaq Composite Index

COMP, +0.75%

were testing fresh all-time highs. Powell on Wednesday told a House committee that policy makers at the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee were committed to using their tools to help the economy, and in many ways the market, sustain its record expansion.

In his prepared remarks, Powell said the U.S. economy is suffering from a bout of uncertainty caused by trade tensions and slower global growth and pledged to act as needed to support demand.

“Since [the Fed meeting in mid-June], based on incoming data and other developments,” he said, “it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook.”

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