Stock Market Today: Dow Ends Higher, Led by Energy; Jackson Hole Eyed

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Stock Market Today: Dow Ends Higher, Led by Energy; Jackson Hole Eyed
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim -- The Dow climbed Wednesday, as a late surge in energy and gains in consumer stocks supported the broader market with just a day to go until Federal Reserve officials kick off the Jackson Hole economic symposium. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2%, or 59 points, the Nasdaq was up 0.4%, and the S&P 500 rose 0.3%.

Energy jumped more than 1%, underpinned by rising oil prices as progress on reviving the Iran nuclear deal took a slight knock on news that the U.S. won't consider additional concessions demanded by Iran. Revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal could pave the way for Tehran to resume crude exports and help alleviate energy price pressure.    

The consumer sector was led higher by cruise stocks after Jefferies, citing its latest checks on cruise tickets, said ticket prices were showing signs of stabilizing at higher levels. 

Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE: RCL ), Carnival (NYSE: CCL ), and Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE: NCLH ) were up sharply, with the latter up more than 8%. Other travel-related stocks including Penn National Gaming Inc (NASDAQ: PENN ), Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ: ULTA ) and Ross Stores Inc (NASDAQ: ROST ) also advanced on optimism about the consumer.

Retail stocks closed 1% lower, weighed down by a fall in Nordstrom on disappointing guidance. 

Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN ) slumped more than 19% after lowering its full-year outlook as waning foot traffic and bloated inventory levels weighed. The retailer did however report quarterly results that beat estimates.

Tech was off lows, but struggled to rack up gains as investors appear wary of making bullish bets on the sector with just days to go until Federal Reserve officials including chairman Jerome Powell are expected to deliver fresh clues on monetary policy.

“The expectation is for a hawkish tone from the central bank officials, but the degree of hawkishness will be key,” ANZ Research said in a note.

Chip stocks traded roughly unchanged ahead of Nvidia’s quarterly results, slated for after the closing bell. The chipmaker issued a profit warning earlier this month, citing a challenging macroenvironment that has held back growth in its gaming business.

Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU ) gained more than 3% after the software company hiked its dividend and bolstered its share buyback program following quarterly results that topped Wall Street estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ: PTON ) surged 20% to cut some of its recent losses as investors cheered news that the exercise equipment maker struck a deal with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) to sell its equipment and apparel on the e-commerce giant’s platform.

Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY ) was among the big meme stocks winners on the day, surging more than 18% on easing liquidity worries after the housewares retailer said it had secured financing.

On the economic front, the data were mixed as durable goods orders slowed by more than expected, while pending home sales fell less than expected in July. As mortgage rates steady, home sales will likely will “reach a floor before the end of the year,” Pantheon Macroeconomics said.

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