S&P, Nasdaq hit record highs as taper fears wane

The S&P 500 closed above 4500 for the first time Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks at the Jackson Hole symposium put investors in a buying mood.

Powell said the central bank would begin reducing its massive purchases of bonds “this year.” But he didn’t say when the central bank would start that tapering process, signaling he’s in no rush to tighten monetary policy.

Independent Advisor Alliance’s Chris Zaccarelli said Powell managed to please both the hawkish and dovish camps on monetary policy.

“Everyone has talked about what a great communicator he is, and he's really done an excellent job. He had something in there for the hawks to let them know that he's listening to them, but on the other hand, he's also not trying to rush things.”

The Dow rose seven-tenths of a percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs for the fourth time this week. The S&P gained nine-tenths of a percent, and the Nasdaq jumped one-and-a-quarter percent.

The three indexes also notched solid gains on the week.

Shares of Gap rose six-tenths of a percent. The retailer significantly boosted its full-year forecasts for sales and profit, betting the hot demand it saw this summer will continue.

Shares of Workday climbed for an eighth straight session. The enterprise cloud applications company’s quarterly revenue beat estimates, prompting at least five brokerages to raise their price targets for the stock.

Peloton shares stepped down nearly 9%. The exercise bike maker disclosed Friday U.S. regulators are investigating the company over an accident involving its treadmills. It also issued a profit warning.

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