Stock market live Wednesday: S&P 500 just 6 points from record, Dow up 280, Tesla jumps 13% on stock split

This is CNBC's live blog that was updated throughout the day.

The market saw a broad rally on Wednesday with the three major indexes and the Russell 2000 small caps climbing higher. Tesla jumped after the company announced a five-for-one stock split. The Labor Department's inflation reading for July showed a bigger jump than economists expected. 

Wednesday's rally by the numbers

  • S&P 500 closed up 1.4% for its best day since July 6 when it gained 1.59%
  • The record close for the S&P stands at 3,386.153 from Feb.19
  • S&P 500 also turned in its eighth positive day in nine
  • S&P 500 is 0.39% below its intraday all-time high of 3,393.52 from Feb. 19
  • S&P 500 is 54.22% above its 52-week low of 2,191.86 from March 23
  • Nasdaq Composite closed up 2.13% for its first positive day in four and its best day since July 20
  • Transports closed up 0.43% for their 11th straight daily gain for the first time since Oct. 26, 1992, and their 11-day win streak
  • Ten out of 11 sectors were positive Wednesday, led by tech, which gained 2.31% for its best day since Aug.3
  • Two out of 11 sectors closed at least at multi-year highs: Consumer discretionary at a record and materials closing at their highest level since Jan. 2018. — Gina Francolla, Yun Li


Lyft shares jump 3% after reporting uptick in rides in July

Shares of Lyft rose 3% in extended trading on Wednesday after the ride-hailing company said its monthly rides increased 78% in July compared with April. The company posted a loss per share of 86 cents, better than the 99 cents expected per Refinitiv. It did report a 61% revenue drop in the second quarter, however, compared with the same quarter a year ago. — Yun Li

Fed's Daly expresses confidence in reaching inflation target

Despite consistently missing the mark for most of the past decade, San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly said she's confident the central bank can get inflation back up to 2%. Inflation has become even more elusive during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the government reporting Wednesday that the Consumer Price Index grew just 1.6% over the past year despite the sharpest monthly gain in nearly 30 years coming in July. Daly insisted that the Fed has the right tools to get to the 2% goal, which it considers the right level for a healthy economy. "The first thing that I look to for confidence is commitment," Daly said in a chat presented Wednesday by the Las Vegas Economic Club. "We are committing to achieving 2%, and so we will get there." Daly also said the Fed still has plenty of firepower to help the economy, with one of the best weapons simply being the willingness to use what's at its disposal. "That is a powerful tool, our willingness to do it and our ability to back up our talk with some actions that are specific." — Jeff Cox

Dow jumps 289 points, S&P 500 points away from new record close

A strong rally in technology shares led the S&P 500 higher on Wednesday, and the broad equity benchmark came just points away from reclaiming its record closing high hit before the coronavirus pandemic. The S&P 500 closed the session up 1.4%, after briefly surpassing its record closing high of 3,386.15 within the last trading hour on Wednesday. The gauge is now just 0.3% below its intraday record. The Dow climbed 289 points on Wednesday, while the Nasdaq jumped 2.1%, boosted by solid gains in Big Tech as well as a 13% surge in Tesla.— Yun Li

Oil gains more than 2% after larger-than-expected inventory draw

Oil gained more than 2% on Wednesday to settle at a five-month high after a larger-than-expected U.S. inventory draw. West Texas Intermediate crude gained $1.06, or 2.55%, to settle at $42.67 per barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude advanced 93 cents, or 2.09%, to $45.43 per barrel. 

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that inventory decreased by 4.5 million barrels for the week ending August 7, which was larger than the 2 million barrel draw expected by analysts, according to estimates from FactSet. - Pippa Stevens 

Final hour of trading: Tech lifts S&P 500 to within striking distance of record close

The S&P 500 traded more than 1% higher on Wednesday as shares of the major tech companies bounced back from their late-day plunge in the previous session. That gain put the broader market index just a few points below its record closing high of 3,386.15. The S&P 500 was also about 0.3% removed from its intraday record of 33,93.52. The Dow and Nasdaq, meanwhile, gained 1% and 2.2%, respectively. —Fred Imbert

Tesla surges 15% after stock split

Shares of Tesla soared 15% to session highs on Wednesday following its announcement to split its highly-priced shares in a 5-for-1 exchange. The knee-jerk jump in shares has confused some Wall Street analysts as stock splits do not impact the existing ownership or change the fundamentals of a company. The move followed the electric-car maker's meteoric rise in 2020 that made it the world's most valuable automaker. The split, which is set to take effect on August 31, will make the stock less expensive, therefore more accessible for individual investors. — Yun Li

Best Buy and Twitter among stocks with further upside as S&P 500 reaches record high, BofA says

Bank of America's Stephen Suttmeier highlighted Best Buy and Twitter as names with "bullish stock charts" as the broader market approached its Feb. 19 record high. Suttmeier, the firm's technical research strategist, noted Best Buy recently completed a "bullish consolidation" above the range of $88 per share and $92 per share. This puts Best Buy's potential upside moving forward between $127 per share and $128 per share, or up more than 22% from Tuesday's close. Twitter, meanwhile, is "breaking out from a bullish head-and-shoulders pattern" after holding above $36 per share. Suttmeier said the stock could rise about 18% before experiencing some technical resistance. —Fred Imbert, Michael Bloom

30-year bond auction up next, after 10-year Treasury auction well received

The government's auction of $38 billion in 10-year notes saw strong demand with a higher than normal participation from non-dealers.

The 10-year auction stopped at 0.677%, and the bid-to-cover ratio was 2.41. The government auctions $26 billion in 30-year bonds Thursday.

Dealers took 19.8% of the 10-year auction, well below the average 27%. Non-dealers bid for 80.2%, up from an average 73%.  Indirects were awarded 65.4%, compared to an average of 60.1%.

"The concession continued into the auction as the curve steepened on very elevated volumes. Since the result, yields have dropped and curve has flattened slightly," noted BMO fixed income strategist Ben Jeffery.

Prior to the auction, the 10-year yield had slipped to 0.6664% from its high on the day of 0.6914%. Yields move opposite to price. Investors most closely watch the 10-year, as it is the benchmark and many loans are priced off of it, including home mortgages. — Patti Domm

Bank stocks fall to session lows after strong Treasury auction

Bank shares dropped to their lows of the day, following Treasury yields lower after a strong debt sale by the department. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America were all down more than 1%. Wells Fargo slid 2.3%. The benchmark 10-year rate slid from its session highs to trade at 0.66%. The 30-year bond yield hovered around 1.35%. —Fred Imbert

'Broad commodity rally to continue,' says UBS

Gold prices hit a record high on Friday amid a broader rebound in commodity prices, and UBS thinks there's more gains ahead.

"We expect this broad commodity rally to continue, and forecast broadly diversified commodity indexes to appreciate by almost 15% over the next 12 months," the firm said in a note to clients Wednesday. UBS pointed to the global economy improving as well as supply constraints and low inventory levels as factors fueling a continued rally. 

"We remain positive on a range of precious metals, including gold, silver, and platinum. We anticipate even bigger gains in industrial metals and energy. Specifically, we expect the recovery in oil to continue," the firm added. - Pippa Stevens 

Midday movers

Tesla — Shares of the electric carmaker jumped more than 9% after the company announced a five-for-one stock split in a move to make its shares more accessible. However, nothing about the security fundamentally changes. 

American Eagle Outfitters – Shares of the retailer jumped more than 3% after JPMorgan upgraded the company to an overweight rating. "We see the AEO story at a positive multi-year inflection point with Aerie's double digit top/bottom-line profile," the firm said.

Brinker International – Shares of Brinker International soared more than 8% after the parent of the Chili's reported better-than-expected quarterly results. The company also projected a smaller loss for the current quarter.

Check out more stocks making the biggest moves midday.Yun Li

Treasury yields rise ahead of record 10-year note auction

Treasury yields have been moving higher ahead of the government's auction of $38 billion 10-year notes, the largest ever for the benchmark Treasury.

Yields, which move opposite price, have been rising since the Treasury announced it was expanding its auction sizes last Wednesday. The 10-year auction is $6 billion larger than it had been. The 10-year yield was at 0.68% Wednesday, compared to 0.55% a week ago. Yields were also firmer Wednesday after headline CPI inflation jumped by 0.6% in July, double expectations.

"The market is building in additional concession to compensate for that. It still depends on whether the end user demand shows up," said John Briggs, head of strategy at NatWest Markets. He said the market is also reversing some of the bullish trade that drove some yields to record lows, as investors bid up precious metals and dumped dollars.

"We had this unstable equilibrium of higher precious metals, higher stocks, higher inflation but lower nominal bond yields, and that just didn't make sense," he said. "Personally,  I think the near-term impetus was the supply into this week but medium term it was vulnerable anyway.

The auction is set for 1 p.m. ET.

Markets at midday: Stocks rise as tech shares recover

The major averages were up around midday as tech shares clawed back some of the steep losses suffered in the previous session. The Dow traded 244 points higher, or 0.9%. The S&P 500 gained 1.3% and the Nasdaq Composite outperformed with a 2% rally. Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Microsoft were all up more than 2%. Alphabet advanced 1.6%. —Fred Imbert

Pelosi says lawmakers still 'miles apart' from reaching a stimulus deal

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a MSNBC interview Wednesday that lawmakers are still "miles apart" from reaching a deal on the next coronavirus relief package. Her comments came as the White House and congressional Democrats have gone four days without talks about the bill. Pelosi said Wednesday the two sides are divided on the funding needed for schools, among other things. President Donald Trump on Saturday signed executive orders seeking to bypass Congress to provide some unemployment aid and delay student loan payments.— Yun Li

Tech stocks surge, but reopening stocks lose ground

The Nasdaq Composite rode strong performance from Big Tech stocks to become the leading index for the day, rising 1.8%. However, some of the stocks tied to the reopening of the economy gave up their early gains. Airlines and cruise stocks turned negative, with American Airlines and Royal Caribbean losing 4.4% and 5.7%, respectively. The KBW Bank Index and Moderna both traded near the flatline after rising earlier in the session. — Jesse Pound

Market rotation happening under the surface is 'encouraging,' says Strategas' Verrone

Chris Verrone, head of technical analyst at Strategas Research Partners, said the market is looking healthier underneath the surface as a greater number of stocks start participating in the march higher. "The fact that small caps continue to lead here … I think that's encouraging," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday. "I know tech gets a lot of attention, but when you look at this market ex-tech, it's about to make new highs as well. So this is broader under the surface than many people think." —Fred Imbert

Uber CEO says the ride hailing company 'will shut down for a while' if courts don't overturn ruling

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told MSNBC on Wednesday that the ride hailing company "will shut down for a while" if California does not overturn a recent ruling requiring Uber to classify its drivers as full-time employees. "If the court doesn't reconsider, then in California, it's hard to believe we'll be able to switch our model to full-time employment quickly," Khosrowshahi told Stephanie Ruhle. Uber and rival Lyft both have about a week left to appeal a preliminary injunction granted by a California judge on Monday that will prohibit the companies from continuing to classify their drivers as independent workers. The order will require Uber and Lyft to provide benefits and unemployment insurance for workers. — Maggie Fitzgerald 

Cramer says Tesla stock split is 'terrific' for bringing new investors to the market

CNBC's Jim Cramer said on Wednesday that Tesla's decision to do a five-for-one stock split would help make younger people investors in the stock market. 

"I think the idea of getting newer, younger people involved into the stock market who aren't just brainwashed to put money into index funds is terrific," Cramer said on "Squawk Box."

The electric vehicle stock rose more than 7% on Wednesday morning. The jump confused some analysts, who pointed out that the advent of fractional trading has made higher stock prices less of a barrier for retail investors. Cramer also pointed out that the stock split does not alter the fundamental value of the company. — Jesse Pound, Kevin Stankiewicz

Rosengren says recovery 'may be losing steam' and blames early reopenings

Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren expressed pessimism about the pace of the economic recovery, as states that reopened too quickly and saw a rise in coronavirus cases will weigh on the broader outlook. "The forecast for the U.S. economy this fall is quite uncertain, but my view is that the recent slowdown in economic activity that we have seen in high frequency data is likely to continue," he said in prepared remarks. He also the "recovery may be losing steam, as activities in many states are once again restricted (officially or voluntarily) to slow the virus's spread." While Rosengren stopped short of calling for the full lockdown of the economy for up to six weeks that Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari has proposed, he did say states should be prepared to "take quick actions" in the fall if Covid-19 arises as schools open and the seasons change. Rosengren also defended the slow buyer and lender uptake of the Main Street lending program that his branch is administering, saying he expects more activity in the fall. — Jeff Cox

Loop Capital raises estimates and price targets on five internet stocks

Loop Capital raised its estimates and price targets on Alphabet, Facebook, Twitter, Snap, and Pinterest on Wednesday morning, with analyst Rob Sanders writing that the companies were "covid winners." The firm lifted its price target on hold-rated Alphabet to $1,640 from $1,500. The analyst also raised his price targets on several other buy-rated stocks in his coverage including Facebook, Twitter, Snap, and Pinterest. "We think the revaluation in growth stocks through COVID will be sustainable as global uncertainties do not appear likely to clear up soon," he wrote. Alphabet is "extremely well positioned, just lower growth and less interesting than the other stocks in this group of winners," Sanderson said. Shares of Alphabet are up over 1.4% in early trading. — Michael Bloom

Bank stocks bounce as bond yields ride

Bank stocks rose on Wednesday morning as hotter-than-expected inflation data pushed Treasury yields higher. The KBW Bank Index rose 2%, while shares of JPMorgan and Citibank gained 2.2%. Wells Fargo, which has underperformed other major banks this year, jumped 2.9%. — Jesse Pound

Airline and cruise line stocks on the rise

Shares of airlines and cruise line operators were in the green in morning trading on Wednesday. Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line gained more than 1% each, while shares of American Airlines, United and Delta also all traded at least 1.5% higher. These are classic reopening trades and are watched closely to gauge investors' optimism about a economic rebound. — Yun Li

Stocks open higher in broad rally

The three major indexes rose in the opening minutes of trading as most sectors of the market climbed higher. The Dow gained 265 points, or about 1%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both gained 0.9%. The Nasdaq is looking for its first positive session in five. — Jesse Pound

Inflation comes in hotter than expected for July

Core consumer pries rose at their fastest pace since January 2001 thanks to jumps in used cars, transportation and apparel, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. Overall, inflation was considerably higher than Wall Street expectations. The Consumer Price Index less food and energy posted a 0.6% increase in July, compared to a 0.2% rise in June as inflation has begun to creep back into the economy following three months of coronavirus-related declines. For the 12-month period, core CPI was up 1.6%. The all-items index also was up 0.6% for the month but just 1% over the past year. The biggest monthly gain came from gasoline prices, which rose 5.6%, while food at home declined 1.1%,  Transportation services rose 3.6% while food costs overall were down 0.4%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a 0.3% increase in headline CPI for the month and a 0.8% gain for the year. The estimates for core CPI were 0.2% monthly and 1.2% for the year.  — Jeff Cox

Here are Wednesday’s biggest analyst calls of the day: Roku, Target, Ferrari, Deere & more

  • Guggenheim upgraded AutoNation to buy from neutral.
  • JPMorgan added Target to the focus list.
  • Deutsche Bank initiated Roku as buy.
  • Deutsche Bank downgraded Deere to hold from buy.
  • JPMorgan upgraded American Eagle Outfitters to overweight from neutral.
  • Morgan Stanley raised its price target on Ferrari to $265 from $180

Pro subscribers read more here. — Michael Bloom

Tesla announces stock split

Tesla announced on Tuesday night a five-for-one stock split in an effort to make its shares more accessible. The move is purely cosmetic, meaning nothing about the company's underlying fundamentals changes. The additional shares will be granted on August 28 to all those who hold the stock as of August 21. Beginning on August 31, Tesla will trade on a split-adjusted basis.

The move follows Apple, which announced a four-for-one split during its third quarter earnings results on July 30.

Shares of Tesla gained more than 7% during premarket trading on Wednesday. - Pippa Stevens 

Trump announces deal to buy 100 million doses of Moderna vaccine

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that the U.S. government has agreed to purchase 100 million doses of Moderna's experimental Covid-19 vaccine. This follows other similar deals with other companies with vaccine candidates. Moderna said the deal was worth $1.53 billion, and its shares rose 11% in premarket trading. — Jesse Pound, Noah Higgins-Dunn

Futures rise after Tuesday's weak finish

Stock futures rose following a late-session decline on Tuesday, pointing to a strong start for the market on Wednesday. Dow futures rose more than 200 points, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq-100 futures gained 0.8% and 0.9%, respectively. A relative outperformance by the Nasdaq would be a reversal from recent sessions where tech has lagged the broader market. — Jesse Pound