Market Recap: Nasdaq Records First Ten-Day Winning Streak Since 2015

The Nasdaq Composite Index recorded its sixth straight record close on Thursday, buoyed by gains in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

The technology-rich index posted the narrowest of gains, edging up 0.1% to 6,390.00. In doing so, it recorded its tenth straight gain, or the longest winning streak since February 2015.

On the most active stocks list, a total of 1,527 Nasdaq-listed companies finished higher. On the flip side, the index registered 1,341 losers.

The large-cap S&P 500 Index pared gains to finish flat at 2,473.45. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1% to 21,611.78 after insurer Travelers Cos posted disappointing quarterly earnings.

Earlier this week, all three of Wall Street’s major indexes traded at record highs.

Volatility at Multi-Decade Lows

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX declined further on Thursday and approached its lowest level since 1993. The so-called “fear index,” which trades on a scale of 1-100, closed at 9.58.

Earlier this  year, the volatility gauge fell to 9.37, its lowest since 1993.

A VIX reading below 20 normally implies bullishness for the U.S. stock market.

Earnings Season Lifts Equities

Wall Street’s latest record-setting rally comes at the beginning of second-quarter earnings season. As of Friday, only 6% of S&P 500 companies had reported quarterly results, with 80% reporting earnings that were above the consensus estimate.

At this time last year, Wall Street was struggling with a so-called profit recession, as a strong dollar and plunging oil prices dragged on the major indexes.

Earnings continue on Friday with Dow blue-chip General Electric Co scheduled to report. Quarterly results will continue to dominate the headlines next week.

Nasdaq Composite Index

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi