Tech stocks and media companies powered the Nasdaq Composite to a record high on Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a seventh consecutive loss, the longest stretch in 15 months as tariff jitters continued to weigh.
The Nasdaq climbed out of the gate, with gains driven by 21st Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) which rose 7.3% and 7.5% after Walt Disney (DIS) upped its bid for the company following a rival offer from Comcast (CMCSA). The cable company ended 1.8% higher amid reports it’s preparing a counteroffer.
Disney advanced 1% on the Dow to be among half of the 30 blue chips that were stronger on the session. Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC) also advanced on a strong day for tech names, with the sector up 0.3% on the Standard & Poor’s 500.
Facebook (FB) rose 2.3% after its Instagram app hit one billion users. Netflix (NFLX) gained 2.9% and Amazon.com (AMZN) added 0.9%. Consumer discretionary rose 0.5% amid the gains in the media group.
The Dow stayed underwater though, with trade war worries continuing to dent sentiment as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appeared before US lawmakers and defended the Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs on global trading partners.
The day’s economic data also hindered sentiment when existing home sales dipped to a four month low of 5.43 million as higher housing costs translated into declining purchases by first-time homebuyers. And speaking in Portugal, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said with inflation reaching the 2% goal, economic growth above trend and unemployment falling, the case for further rate hikes is strong.
In company news, Oracle (ORCL) sank 7.5% after its first-quarter earnings came in below Wall Street’s expectations, and earned a price target cut from RBC Capital Markets and a downgrade from Wedbush Securities. Winnebago Industries (WGO) surged 15% after its fiscal third quarter results topped estimates.
By the close, the Nasdaq rose 0.7%, the S&P 500 gained 0.2% and the Dow fell 0.2%.