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Stocks - Boeing, Techs, Retailers Push Stocks Higher

Investing.com – Stocks rose for the fourth day in the last five as investors were cheered by Boeing's hope to get its 737 Max jet back into the air and by gains in tech and retail stocks.

The S&P 500 gained 0.8%, with the Dow Jones Industrials up 0.9%. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9%.

The market opened smartly higher with the Dow up as many as 306 points, then lost a little momentum after minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting suggested its rate cut was a recalibration of current policy and not a signal of a major round of rate cutting.

With today's rally, the S&P 500 and Dow are each up 2.8% after their pounding on August 14. The Dow fell 800 points that day. The Nasdaq is up 3%.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) posted a 2.5% gain that added 56 points to the Dow's rise by itself. Twenty-nine of the 30 Dow stocks moved higher, with Walmart (NYSE:WMT) finishing with a small 0.04% loss. Nike (NYSE:NKE) was the Dow leader, up 2.8%, followed by Boeing and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), up 1.75%.

Boeing, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), up 1.1%, and Home Depot (NYSE:HD), up 1.6%, combined to produce 94 points of the Dow's 240-point gain.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) rallied after its Tuesday announcement that it will hire several hundred temporary employees at its Moses Lake facility to work on the grounded 737 Max fleet and prepare the planes for return to service once regulators give them clearance to fly again. Boeing hopes that approval will come early in the fourth quarter.

The planes will need to have new computer software installed, plus go through extensive checks and maintenance after not flying for several months, and it may well be next year before all the grounded airplanes are flying again.

Retailers were strongly higher, especially Target (NYSE:TGT) and Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) after both reported better-than-expected fiscal-second-quarter results.

Target jumped 20.4%, its biggest one-day gain ever, after saying investments in stores and in online sales were producing strong results. The company raised its full-year guidance. Lowe's, up 10%, also easily beat estimates, despite falling lumber prices.

After hours, earnings from upscale retailer Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) cheered investors, who pushed shares up 15% after rising 5.5% in regular trading. Nordstrom said digital sales rose 4% in the quarter, offsetting a 5% decline at its traditional stores. Earnings of 90 cents a share beat the estimated of analysts polled by Investing.com of 76 cents.

Oil prices were mixed. West Texas intermediate futures fell 45 cents to $55.68 a barrel. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 27 cents to $60.30.

Gold futures were flat at $1,515,70 an ounce. Interest rates moved higher as investor demand for stocks pulled money away from bonds.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.581% from Tuesday's 1.559%. But the yield curve between the 10-year and 2-year did invert briefly again following the Fed minutes.The spread was 1.68 basis points at the close, down from 4.3 basis points on Tuesday.

Winners and Losers in the S&P 500

Target (NYSE:TGT), Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW), Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS), which develops online merchandising programs for companies, and Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) were among the top S&P 500 performers Wednesday.

Insurance company Aflac (NYSE:AFL), packaging company Amcor (NYSE:AMCR), General Electric (NYSE:GE) and oil-services company Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) were among the weakest S&P 500 performers.

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