Technology and communications companies pushed stocks higher on Wall Street in early trading Thursday, extending the market's gains from the day before. The early buying briefly nudged the Dow Jones Industrial Average above the 27,000-point mark for the first time, a day after the S&P 500 made its first move above 3,000, the AP reports. The Dow has since come down a bit; as of this writing, it was at 26,985. The market shook off a two-day slide earlier this week and has been trending higher as investors have grown more confident that the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates for the first time in a decade as soon as the end of July. On Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said many Fed officials believe a weakening global economy and rising trade tensions have strengthened the case for a rate cut. The remarks came as Powell gave testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. He was due to appear before the Senate Banking Committee Thursday.
The market rallied through much of June after the central bank first signaled that it was prepared to cut rates to offset slowing global growth and the fallout from US trade conflicts. Chipmaker Nvidia was among the big gainers in the technology sector in early trading Thursday; the stock climbed 2.3%. CenturyLink led the gainers in the communications sector, rising 1.3%. Banks also helped lift the market. They got a boost from a pickup in the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which rose to 2.08% from 2.06% late Wednesday. When bond yields rise, they push interest rates on mortgages and other loans higher, making them more profitable for lenders. Goldman Sachs Group gained 0.9%. Energy stocks were the biggest laggard, with Cimarex Energy dropping 1%. Real estate and materials stocks also fell. (Read more stock market stories.)