Friday , April 16 2021

Dow, S&P and Nasdaq trade at records after retail sales, trade optimism rebound – MarketWatch, Marketwatch.com


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

U.S. stock indexes rose to record levels Friday morning after data on retail sales rebounded to show growth in October and after White House officials again talked up the prospects of a trade deal with China.

How are the major benchmarks faring?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DJIA, 0. 56%                                                                                                                                                           rose 143 points, or 0.5%, to 27, 927, while the S&P 500 index                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SPX, 0. 59%                                                                                                                                                           Gained 17 points, or 0.6%, to trade at 3, 114. The Nasdaq Composite index                                                                                                                                                                                                                      COMP, 0. 65%                                                                                                                                                           Gained 56 points, or 0.7%, to 8, 535.

All three benchmarks were trading above their previous record closes and set new intraday highs Friday morning.

On Thursday, the Dow ended marginally lower, falling 1. 63 points to 27, 781. 96, a day after eking out a record close. The S&P 500, meanwhile, tiptoed further into uncharted territory with a rise of 2. 59 points, or 0.1%, to end at 3.0 96. 63 – it’s 21 st record close of 2019. The Nasdaq Composite edged 3. 08 points lower, a decline of less than 0.1%, to finish at 8, 479. 02.

For the week, the Dow is on pace to rise 0.7%, the S&P 0.5% and the Nasdaq less than 0.6%.

Read:‘Hindenburg Omen’ and ‘Ohama Titanic Syndrome’ form in a key stock-market index

What’s driving the market?

Equities markets have clung to slight gains this week as investors remain hopeful that positive developments in US-China trade relations will soon justify recent record highs for the major stock indexes.

“Investors continue to hang onto every word associated with the US-China trade war,” said Russ Mold, investment director at AJ Bell. “White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow reportedly said that current negotiations between the two countries are ‘very constructive’, which was enough to drive stock markets up across the UK, mainland Europe and most of Asia.”

Kudlow on Thursdaysaid negotiators are getting close to an agreement, but that President Donald Trump wasn’t yet ready to sign off. Trump “likes what he sees, he’s not ready to make a commitment, he hasn’t signed off on a commitment for phase one, we heave no agreement just yet for phase one,” he said at a Council on Foreign Relations event,according to The Wall Street Journal.

U.S. retail sales growthrebounded in October, rising 0.3% after a 0.3% decline in September, above the 0.2% growth expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. Excluding autos and gasoline sales, however, sales rose 0.1%, below the 0.4% consensus forecast.

ButUS industrial output fell by the most in 17 months in October, down 0.8%, worse than the 0.5% decline expected by economists polled by MarketWatch. Industrial capacity in use slumped to 76. 7 in October, the lowest level in slightly more than two years.

The New York Federal Reserve’s November Empire State index, a gauge of regional activity, alsocame in below expectations, with a reading of 2.9 in November, a 1.1 decrease from October and below economists expectations of a 5.0 reading, according to a MarketWatch poll.

Which stocks are in focus?

Shares ofApplied Materials Inc.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (AMAT, 9.) %                                                                                                                                                          were expected to be in focus after the chip-equipment company late Thursday reported a fall in profit from a year ago, but topped Wall Street expectations. The company’s outlook also backed up earlier reports from the chip-equipment sector pointing toa recovery for the beaten-down semiconductor industry. Shares rallied 1% Friday.

Chip makerNvidia Corp.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NVDA,– 1. (%)                                                                                                                                                          late Thursday forecasta return to revenue growth after four quarters of declines and beat estimates for its quarterly results. Shares fell 2.4% Friday.

Shares of furniture makerRH                                                                                                                                                                                                                      RH, 6. 29%                                                                                                                                                          were up more than 6% Friday after Warren Buffett’sBerkshire Hathaway Inc.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BRK.B, 0. 16%                                                                                                                                                                                         BRK.A, 0. 16%                                                                                                                                                          revealed in a regulatory filing that it hadbought 1.2 million sharesof the company formerly known as Restoration Hardware.

Berkshire also revealed that it owned nearly 7.5 million shares ofOccidental Petroleum Corp.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OXY, 3. 19%()                                                                                                                                                          worth around $ 332 million as of the end of the third quarter. Berkshire in April committed $ 10 billion to help Occidental in its bid for Anadarko Petroleum Corp, giving the company an edge over Chevron Corp.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (CVX, 0. 15%,                                                                                                                                                           which later bowed out of the fight for Anadarko.

Shares ofJ.C. Penney Co. Inc. rallied more than 7% after the department store retailerreported narrower-than-expected losses in the third quarter.

How are other markets trading?

The yield on the 10 – year US Treasury note                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (TMUBMUSD) ****************************************************************************************************************************************** (Y, 0. 38%                                                                                                                                                          rose 1.6 basis points to 1. 828%on rising trade hopes, after falling toa weekly lowon Thursday.

The price of a barrel West Texas Intermediate crude oil for December delivery                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (CLZ) , 1. 80%                                                                                                                                                          rose 45 cents, or 0.8% to $ 57. 21,though the commodity was still on track for weekly losses. The price of an ounce of gold for December delivery                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (GCZ) ,– 0. 48%                                                                                                                                                          declined $ 4. 30, or 0.3%, to $ 1469. 20as the safe haven lost appeal.

The value of the US dollar edged 0.2% lower, according to the ICE U.S. Dollar index                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DXY,– 0. 12%.                                                                                                                                                          

In Asia overnight, stocks traded mixed, with the China CSI 300                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (000) ,– 0. 74%                                                                                                                                                          falling 0.7% and the Shanghai Composite index                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SHCOMP,– 0. 64 %                                                                                                                                                          declining 0.6%. Japan’s Nikkei 225                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NIK, 0. 70%,                                                                                                                                                           meanwhile, rose 0.7% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (HSI, 0. 01%                                                                                                                                                          was virtually unchanged on the session.

In Europe,stocks were trading mixed, with the Stoxx Europe 600                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SXXP, 0. 29%                                                                                                                                                          up 0.3%                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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