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Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. stocks continue their surge, with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq all finishing the day higher on Wednesday, as seemingly every sector of the market has rallied since the start of the third quarter.

What it means: The "buy anything" rally continues as reopening and stay-at-home stocks both remain bid and every sector of the S&P has seen a sizable jump since the quarter began on July 1.

Between the lines: U.S. economic data has been mixed in recent days, as private payroll processor ADP's jobs report missed expectations by more than 500,000 jobs and the Fed's Beige Book found the economic recovery slowed in August and “Continued uncertainty and volatility related to the pandemic, and its negative effect on consumer and business activity, was a theme echoed across the country.”

The state of play: The S&P 500 hit a new record high and rose by the most in nearly two months, closing higher for the ninth time in the past 10 sessions.

  • Defensive and value stocks led the gains, catching up after tech stocks boomed on Tuesday.
  • The Russell 1000 Value Index rose 1.7% and utilities and financial stocks — two of the three worst-performing sectors in 2020 — each rose nearly 1.4%.

The big picture: The Nasdaq has risen by 18.7% in just the third quarter. The S&P and Dow are trailing closely behind, having gained 15% and 13%, respectively, since July 1.

  • September has built on August's impressive numbers, when the S&P rose by more than 7%, for the best August since 1986, the Dow had its best August since 1984, and the Nasdaq recorded its strongest August since 2000.

Go deeper

Survey: CEO confidence soars above pre-pandemic levels

Data: Business Roundtable; Chart: Axios Visuals

CEO confidence rebounded above pre-pandemic levels this quarter, according to a survey of 150 chief executives of the largest U.S. companies by lobbying group Business Roundtable.

Why it matters: The index, which is still below the record high seen in the wake of Trump's corporate tax cuts, reflects corporate America's expectations for sales, hiring and spending — which hit rock bottom when the pandemic hit. Now CEOs are feeling even better than before the coronavirus roiled the economy.

19 mins ago - Health

FDA advisory panel endorses Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Cezary Kowalski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday recommended the authorization of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.

Why it matters: The FDA is expected to make a final decision within days on the J&J vaccine, which was found to be 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID. An emergency use authorization would allow distribution to immediately begin, helping streamline and speed up the vaccine rollout across the U.S.

Dave Lawler, author of World
20 mins ago - World

Schiff: "Definitive" Khashoggi report sends clear message to Saudis

Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The report released Friday on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was short on evidence or new information, but Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tells Axios that the “definitive” statement assigning responsibility to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) speaks volumes.

What he’s saying: Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, says that while some intelligence couldn’t be published because of the need to protect sources and methods, “we rarely see something published that is this definitive and I think that's an important accomplishment for the administration.”