United States stocks: Nasdaq, S&P 500 crawl higher on Amazon, Apple boost

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A giant American Flag hangs on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. Mary Altaffer Associated Press

Craig Erlam from Oanda also noted that the tech-heavy Nasdaq increased by 27% between pre and post-pandemic peaks, completing a remarkable 12 months that has seen nearly unprecedented volatility.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was steady after two days of declines, but the mood was hardly bullish.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) shares tumbled 0.3% to their lowest level since early July on reports that the company must pay about $ 1 billion in compensation to avoid prosecution for market manipulation.

Asia's stock markets struggled to emulate Wall Street's rebound on Wednesday as persistent worries about the global economic recovery kept investors cautious, while ebbing inflation expectations helped the USA dollar to a two-month high.

Investors are struggling to understand where to invest with mega-cap tech stocks trading well above their long-term fair value but the deep-value stocks represent maturing industries such as energy and brick-and-mortar banks, he said.

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Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday told a congressional panel that the economy had shown "marked improvement" since the pandemic drove it into recession, but the path ahead remains uncertain and the Fed will do more if needed.

Sharp rises in valuation tend to occur during early cycle recoveries and are also being driven by the Federal Reserve's easing programs, Jurrien Timmer, director of global macro in Fidelity's global asset allocation division, said in a recent commentary.

And hopes for another stimulus measure from Congress flagged as lawmakers focused on a fight over a Supreme Court nomination following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Homebuilders surged following a report showing USA home sales jumped in August to their highest level since 2006.

US initial jobless claims are due Thursday.

The Dow and S&P 500 made more muted gains of 0.5% and 1% respectively.

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In the case of the S&P 500, Wednesday also represented the fourth trading session in the past five days that the index had either gained or lost 1.75%.

On Thursday, Amazon closed 0.7% higher after bouncing between gains and losses.

Tokyo ended 0.1 percent down as investors returned from an extended weekend break, while Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila were also lower. France's CAC 40 fell 0.4 percent, and the FTSE 100 in London fell 0.4 percent. The offshore yuan retreated following a weaker-than-anticipated daily currency fixing. Australian stocks climbed, while the Australian dollar slipped with bond yields after a prominent economist projected the central bank will reduce interest rates next month.

Sterling was unchanged at 0.9195 per euro.

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