At one point on Tuesday, the Nasdaq was up about 2% on the day. Although the index eased off those gains going into afternoon trading, investors didn’t completely take their foot off the gas.
Thanks to positive comments from President Donald Trump, the Nasdaq jumped 1.39% on the day, outperforming both the Dow Jones and S&P 500, which climbed 1.35% and 0.97%, respectively.
So what did Trump say to cause such a rally? Well, the very opposite of what he said to derail the stock market rally last month. As trade-war worries flood Wall Street and wreak havoc on conference calls, the President tweeted that he, “Had a very good telephone conversation with President Xi of China. We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting.”
This sent tech stocks, and in particular, chip stocks soaring on the day. In tech, the trade war has impacted everything from customer demand to declining margins thanks to increased tariffs. Some of the industry has been able to shake off the woes — like Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) — but not everyone has been so lucky.
Biggest Winners in the Nasdaq Today
AMD raced higher by 4.3%, while Nvidia jumped 5.4% and Broadcom rallied 4.5%. The mere idea that the trade war talks could improve was enough to send these stocks skyward. It has got many on Wall Street wondering just how compressed this group is thanks to the friction between China and the White House. If the trade-war rhetoric remains positive ahead of the G-20 summit, it’s possible for this group to continue higher.
That said, investors also have to be aware of the Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday. There’s only a 24% chance of a rate cut announcement at this meeting, so most investors aren’t expecting one yet. But they will be looking for a more dovish stance from the Fed, particularly following the European Central Bank’s accommodative stance this week, and given the fact that the futures market is pricing in a 98% chance for at least one rate cut by December.
So that’s something to be aware of.
NAND and DRAM players were also in the spotlight. Micron (NASDAQ:MU) jumped 5.7%, while equipment makers like Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) and Applied Material (NASDAQ:AMAT) rallied 4.6% and 4.5%, respectively.
Finally, Microsoft is shaking off any worries about the trade war as shares hit new all-time highs. MSFT closed at $135.16, up 1.74%, while rallying almost 10% so far this month.
Bottom Line on the Nasdaq Today
The trade war is what dragged the Nasdaq from its all-time highs in early May. But a resolution is likely what will vault the index back up to them. The markets came into June in an oversold condition, but the bounce was most telling. After the Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Dow all rallied to start the month, the bears weren’t able to push it back down.
That action is important, suggesting that a larger rally was brewing after some consolidation. That extension could be taking place now, but we still have the Fed to get through.
Fed Chair Powell has not been the smoothest talker when it comes to FOMC events, so it will be interesting to see how the market reacts tomorrow. A dovish Fed could ignite stocks even higher, while a hawkish Fed could undo many of today’s nice gains. The same rally/puke potential exists with the President’s Twitter account.
All said, it was a very strong day for the Nasdaq today, although Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was a noteworthy laggard.
The social media giant finally announced its Libra cryptocurrency. While this was anything but a secret, it was interesting to see FB give up all of its Tuesday gains. Ending slightly lower on the day, down 29 basis points, is not what many investors had in mind given the strength in tech.
The bottom line: Watch the Fed on Wednesday.