US stocks rebound

By CNN Business

Updated 6:59 p.m. ET, July 7, 2021
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4:04 p.m. ET, July 7, 2021

S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite hit all-time highs

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Wall Street finished in the green on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both ending at record highs. It’s the third straight all-time high for the Nasdaq. The S&P took a breather Tuesday, but had notched seven consecutive records in the sessions before that.

The S&P gained 0.3%, while the Nasdaq finished flat albeit ever so slightly higher.

The Dow, still short of a record, closed up 0.3%, or 104 points.

2:50 p.m. ET, July 7, 2021

Minutes show a Fed that's 'talking about talking about' tapering

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

The minutes of the Federal Reserve's June meeting, released today, put in writing what central bank Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters in the press conference last month: it was indeed the Fed's "talking about talking about" tapering meeting.

The minutes said that central bankers "judged that, as a matter of prudent planning, it was important to be well positioned to reduce the pace of asset purchases, if appropriate, in response to unexpected economic developments, including faster-than-anticipated progress toward the Committee’s goals..."

In other words, it's time to tighten the belt.

"Various" members of the Fed's policy committee also suggested tapering purchases of mortgage-backed securities more quickly, or earlier, compared with the purchases of Treasury securities, given the high valuations in the housing market.

2:34 p.m. ET, July 7, 2021

Apple nears record high for first time since January

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

How do you like them Apples?

The iPhone maker's stock is flirting with a new all-time high for the first time since late January. Apple (AAPL) shares were up about 2% Wednesday, rising along with the rest of the tech sector. Apple is on track to post its seventh straight day of gains.

Apple is now worth about $2.4 trillion. But Tim Cook's company continues to lag the rally in most other top tech stocks this year. Shares of Apple are up about 9% this year. The Nasdaq is up about 14%.

And all but one of the other so-called FAANG stocks has turned in a bigger gain in 2021. Facebook (FB) has soared nearly 30%. Amazon (AMZN) is up about 15%. Google owner Alphabet (GOOGL) has skyrocketed about 45%. Netflix (NFLX) is the only loser, dipping about 1% year-to-date.

There was no concrete news to explain Apple's recent surge. But tech stocks have been rallying lately as long-term bond yields fall. Apple rival Samsung also issued a healthy profit outlook Wednesday.

1:28 p.m. ET, July 7, 2021

Washington has plenty to do as the market is waiting for the next fiscal boost

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Summer is upon us, the economy is recovering and stocks are near record highs. But there's still plenty for investors to worry about, especially when it comes to spending plans from Washington.

"An infrastructure bill still has a lot of details to be ironed out -- like how do you pay for it," Greg Valliere, AGF Investments Chief U.S. Policy Strategist, told Alison Kosik on the CNN Business digital live show Markets Now.

And then there's the congressional summer break and the debt ceiling to worry about, Valliere added. "There's a decent chance they'll get an infra bill, not as much as Joe Biden wanted," he said.

"In the meantime I think the markets have to worry about an economy that gets a little softer," as it awaits more fiscal stimulus, he said.

1:21 p.m. ET, July 7, 2021

Stocks are near records. Here's why it's still hard to invest right now

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

It's a weird time to be an investor. Stocks are near all-time highs, but can the rally keep going? Meanwhile, interest rates are still super low, making fixed income not exactly attractive.

"I think there's so much liquidity out there sloshing through the system... It's really hard for income-oriented investors to find yield," said Michael Fredericks, head of income investing for the BlackRock Multi-Asset Strategies Group and portfolio manager of the BlackRock Multi-Asset Income Fund.

But "despite pretty elevated valuations on the S&P 500, the path of least resistance is higher," he said. The S&P could hit a fresh all time high today.

For now, it makes sense to focus on dividend-oriented stocks and global companies, Fredericks added.

And what about inflation, Wall Street's boogeyman?

"The market focus i think [has shifted] a bit over the last few months. We know that inflation is running hot right now as we're reopening," but the better question is what that will look like next year, Fredericks said.

The bond market, for example, is pricing in an inflation situation that looks similar to the state of the world before the pandemic -- with stubbornly low inflation.

1:15 p.m. ET, July 7, 2021

Languishing is a huge problem for pandemic-era workers: BetterUp CEO

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

The pandemic has been rough on workers across industries and professions. Even as vaccination rates rise and virus infections remain low, people are struggling to find their feet again.

Languishing -- the absence of burnout that's leading to a lack of focus and motivation -- is a real problem as the nation is emerging from the pandemic. But coaching can help with that, said Alexi Robichaux, BetterUp Co-Founder and CEO, an app that provides such services.

"Our mission is to democratize access to what's traditionally thought of as coaching," he added.

BetterUp's business was doubling and tripling even in the years before the pandemic. But during Covid, some of the company's clients faced large scale layoffs, which affected BetterUp's business in turn.

Now, workers are facing burnout, while some are languishing even as other thrive. Parts of the workforce is rather resilient and people are bouncing back, Robichaux said, but that just doesn't apply to everyone.

The company even sees an IPO on its horizon, albeit no time soon, Robichaux told Alison Kosik on the CNN Business digital live show Markets Now.

12:09 p.m. ET, July 7, 2021

Stocks are up at midday

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

US stocks clawed their way back into the green and are modestly higher at midday.

The Dow is up 0.2%, or about 70 points, while the S&P 500 is 0.3% higher. The Nasdaq Composite is up 0.1%.

This puts both the S&P and the Nasdaq on track for fresh all-time highs.

10:22 a.m. ET, July 7, 2021

America had 9.2 million jobs available in May

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

If you're looking for work, you have plenty of options.

The United States had 9.2 million job openings in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' job openings and labor turnover survey, showing that America's pandemic-era worker shortage stuck around through the late spring. A total of 5.9 million workers were hired in May, leaving a big gap between labor demand and supply.

The May data was little changed from April, which was revised down to 9.2 million available jobs from the 9.3 million reported initially.

Job openings in services and education rose, but the number of jobs available in entertainment and recreation actually fell by 80,000.

Meanwhile, the number of separations — including workers voluntary quitting as well as those laid off — fell by nearly half a million in May.

10:22 a.m. ET, July 7, 2021

Amazon hits new record high after DoD spikes JEDI

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

Shares of Amazon (AMZN) spiked Wednesday to a new all-time high as investors continued to celebrate good news for the company from Washington.

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that a controversial $10 billion cloud computing contract that was surprisingly awarded to Microsoft (MSFT) during the Trump administration was being scrapped and that bidding for a new Defense Department deal would begin.

Amazon, which owns leading cloud company Amazon Web Services (AWS), was once considered a frontrunner for the DoD deal. But Trump's well-publicized dislike for Jeff Bezos due to the critical coverage of the White House by the Bezos-owned Washington Post was believed to be a reason Amazon did not win the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, contract. 

Bezos is no longer Amazon CEO, having handed over the reins to AWS chief Andy Jassy earlier this week. So the Amazon stock spike and potential for new revenue from a Pentagon cloud deal is a good start to Jassy's tenure. Amazon is now worth nearly $1.9 trillion.

But don't shed any tears for Microsoft. Its stock rose too Wednesday and the company's market value is now $2.1 trillion, trailing only Apple (AAPL), which has a market cap of $2.4 trillion.