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Nasdaq posts longest winning streak since March as Amazon and Facebook rise

Key Points
  • The Nasdaq Composite posts its first seven-day winning streak since March as Facebook and Amazon close higher.
  • But the broader market closes little changed as the unveiling of new Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods cap gains.
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The Nasdaq Composite closed marginally higher on Wednesday, notching its longest winning streak since March, as shares of Facebook and Amazon rose.

The tech-heavy index gained less than 0.1 percent to close at 7,888.33, but posted its seventh consecutive gain. That is the Nasdaq's first seven-day winning streak since the one that ended on March 12.

Facebook and Amazon led the index higher, rising 0.8 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Google-parent Alphabet also rose 0.4 percent.

But the rest of the market closed little changed after the unveiling of new Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 45.16 points to close at 25,583.75, with Disney as the biggest laggard. The closed just below the flatline at 2,857.70 as consumer staples underperformed.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced a 25 percent charge on $16 billion worth of U.S. goods. The goods being targeted by China include vehicles such as large passenger cars and motorcycles. Various fuels are on the list, as well as fiber optical cables.

China's announcement comes after the U.S. Trade Representative's office released a finalized list of $16 billion worth in Chinese goods that will be hit with tariffs. The U.S. charges will take effect on Aug. 23. The latest U.S. list brings the total worth of Chinese goods facing a 25 percent tariff to $50 billion.

Shares of big exporters Caterpillar and Boeing fell 1.9 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Global investors have kept an eye on U.S.-China trade developments as they also grapple with strong fundamentals in the U.S., namely solid corporate earnings.

"This market has been able to look beyond trade tensions and look at fundamentals, but those fundamentals sort of run out of steam this week," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. "We slipped into a catalyst vacuum, which could push trade tensions back into the fore."

Wall Street has reached the tail end of the latest corporate earnings season. Nearly 90 percent of S&P 500 companies have released their calendar second-quarter results. Of those companies, 76.36 percent have reported better-than-forecast quarterly profits, according to FactSet.

Amazon and Apple are among the companies that have reported better-than-expected earnings. CVS Health also posted better-than-expected earnings on Wednesday, sending its shares up by 4.2 percent.

There have been some notable disappointments this season, however. Facebook shares lost about a fifth of their value after releasing its quarterly figures. Most recently, Disney shares dropped more than 2 percent Wednesday after the media giant posted weaker-than-expected earnings and revenue.

The S&P 500 closed Wednesday's session just half a percent from a record high. If the index breaks above 2,872.87, it would notch its first all-time high since Jan. 26. The Nasdaq was also less than 1 percent away from a record while the Dow remained 3.9 percent below its all-time high through Tuesday's close.

"What the market is telling you, and I concur, is a 24 percent increase in earnings and a 9 percent gain in revenue is more impactful than these tariffs," said Mark Esposito, CEO of Esposito Securities. "That's why we're [near] an all-time highs."

WATCH: Nasdaq on pace for 7th day of gains
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Nasdaq on pace for seventh straight day of gains