S&P 500 Closes At New All-time High

The S&P 500 index closed at an all-time high on Tuesday, with all of the losses it suffered in March, as the pandemic hit, now regained. In 2020 so far, the index has added 4.9%, and it is up 16.8% over the past 12 months - despite tens of millions of Americans out of work, and the continued surge of Covid-19 in many states. New York, the original epicenter of the virus in the US, is now largely under control, but major states including Texas, California and Florida continue to get worse.

The best performing S&P 500 stocks year-to-date range from pharmaceutical companies to online payment providers and chipmakers. Nvidia’s (NVDA) share price has soared by 108% due to demand for its graphics processors amid the shift to a work-from-home world. Similarly, peer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has added 78%. PayPal (PYPL) has also enjoyed a big 2020, driven by consumers switching to online spending; its share price is up 80% year-to-date. For similar reasons, Amazon’s (AMZN) share price has also climbed 79% in 2020.

Amazon leads S&P to historic marker

It was Amazon that led the S&P 500 to a new all-time high on Tuesday, after the retail giant climbed 4.1% on reports that it is adding thousands of jobs in major cities. Microchip Technology (MCHP), Salesforce (CRM), Alphabet (GOOGL) and Adobe (ADBE) were the other companies that sat at the top of the index, with tech firms fittingly putting the S&P over the top after a rally that has been largely fueled by tech stocks. Driven by tech names, the index set both a new intra-day and closing price all-time high. Elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite delivered the best day on Tuesday at an index level, finishing 0.7% higher to take its year-to-date gain to 25%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell marginally, with Chevron the biggest loser of the day. Its share price, which has been largely flat over the past three months, fell by 2.1%. While oil prices have recovered past $40 a barrel, they are still a long way off pre-pandemic levels and Chevron (CVX) is down 27.3% YTD.

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