US stocks edge to records as consumer confidence rises

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NEW YORK – Wall Street stocks edged higher on Tuesday (June 29), adding to recent records, as US consumer confidence continued to improve while investors grapple with the latest coronavirus worries.

US consumer confidence surged in June to its highest point since the start of the pandemic, propelled by the improved outlook on jobs and business conditions, according to The Conference Board.

“Low virus transmission, vaccinations, and expanded reopenings made consumers much more confident,” Oren Klachkin of Oxford Economics said in an analysis.

“Consumers are coming out of their shell.”

But analysts are keeping an eye on Covid-19 as the Delta strain of the virus prompts fresh restrictions in Australia and other countries.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index again led the market, climbing 0.2 per cent to 14,528.33, its fifth finish in six sessions.

The broad-based S&P 500 also eked out a record, gaining less than 0.1 per cent to 4,291.80, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up by a hair at 34,292.29.

United Airlines lost 0.7 per cent following a choppy session after it announced a new plane order.

United plans to acquire 270 aircraft consisting of 200 Boeing and 70 Airbus jets in the biggest bet thus far by a major carrier on a travel industry recovery from Covid-19. Boeing rose 1 per cent.

Large banks were mixed following a series of announcements of new dividend and share repurchase programs after performing well in Federal Reserve stress tests last week.

Morgan Stanley gained 3.3 per cent, while Bank of America 1.7 per cent.

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