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Source: Carlo Allegri/Reuters
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  • The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ closed at new highs on Tuesday following an upbeat consumer confidence report
  • According to the report, US consumer confidence increased in June to its highest level since the pandemic began
  • A hike in banking dividends also helped buoy the market, with Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs all raising their payouts
  • Investor focus is now expected to shift to the second-quarter earnings season, which could decide the path for the next phase of the equity markets
  • All up, the S&P 500 gained 0.03 per cent while the NASDAQ added 0.19 per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.03 per cent

Both the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ closed at new highs on Tuesday following an upbeat consumer confidence report that gave a general boost to tech stocks.

The largest percentage gainer on the S&P 500 was Skyworks Solutions, which rose 4.5 per cent after analysts at Barclays raised their price target, citing it as one of the suppliers to Apple that could benefit from the new iPhone launch.

Apple also gained more than 1.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, NASDAQ-listed Moderna jumped 5.2 per cent to a record high after its COVID-19 vaccine yielded promising results in a study against the Delta variant first identified in India, showing only a marginal drop in efficacy compared to the original strain.

A positive consumer confidence report released on Tuesday set a positive tone for jobs data. According to the report, US consumer confidence increased in June to its highest level since the pandemic began, adding to expectations of strong economic growth.

Investors are also watching a non-farm payroll report due on Friday, which could sway the US Federal Reserve’s policy stance that hinges on an equitable recovery of the labour market.

“If there’s a strong nonfarm payrolls number this month and we start making progress on the unemployment rate, that changes the whole Fed narrative,” said Mike Zigmont, head of trading and research at Harvest Volatility Management in New York.

A hike in banking dividends also helped to buoy the market. Morgan Stanley jumped 3.4 per cent after it doubled its dividend to US$0.70 (A$0.93) per share, while JP Morgan, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs also raised their payouts.

All three major Wall Street indexes are heading for their fifth straight quarter of gains, boosted by sweeping monetary support measures, a rebound US economy and strong corporate earnings.

As a result, investor focus is expected to shift to the second-quarter earnings season, beginning in July, which could decide the path for the next phase of the equity markets.

All up, the S&P 500 gained 0.03 per cent while the NASDAQ added 0.19 per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.03 per cent.

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